Ecclesia College: There Will Be No New Statement about the Arkansas Bribery Scandal

Just a little while ago, this statement appeared on the Ecclesia College Facebook page: Ecclesia College Ecclesia has previously released a statement regarding the Micah Neal plea agreement and will not be issuing any further statement at this time. You can read the prior statement denying any wrongdoing here.For more on Ecclesia College and the Arkansas bribery scandal, read here, here, here, here, here, and here.I suspect Ecclesia's attorneys have advised anyone associated with the c … [Read more...]

Over $600,000 of State Funding Went to Ecclesia College in FY 2013

Yesterday, Max Brantley at the Arkansas blog posted results of his freedom of information request from the state government. He was able to get emails regarding funds funneled to Ecclesia College as well as the subpoena to the Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District from investigators looking into the Arkansas bribery scandal.I found one email especially interesting. In it, the NWAEDD sent a listing of grants issued by the District to Ecclesia College. See it below:The … [Read more...]

Bible College at Center of Arkansas Bribery Scandal is Actually a Church

In fact, Ecclesia College is a part of a church called Ecclesia, Inc.According to Guidestar, Ecclesia, Inc. "is not required to file an annual return with the IRS because it is a church." Unlike other non-profit entities, Ecclesia isn't accountable to the public via the annual 990 filing. Somehow the college and several other activities are considered a church by the IRS. On Ecclesia College's website, a list of organizations are provided which are a part of the "church" or what they call … [Read more...]

Ecclesia College Bans Questions about Arkansas Bribery Scandal

Last week, Arkansas state representative Micah Neal pleaded guilty to fraud and accepting bribes from two non-profits in his district in exchange for state government discretionary funds. One of the non-profits has been identified as Ecclesia College, a Bible college in Springdale, Arkansas. In the plea agreement with Rep. Neal, the president of Ecclesia College -- Oren Paris III -  is referred to as one of those who authorized payments to Rep. Neal. After this news emerged, Paris issued a … [Read more...]

Arkansas Bribery Scandal: Will Oren Paris’ Denial Be Enough?

Last night on Facebook, Ecclesia College's president Oren Paris III denied any wrongdoing in the emerging Arkansas bribery scandal. Yesterday, state representative Micah Neal admitted conspiring with an as yet unnamed state senator to secure bribes from two non-profits, one being Ecclesia College, in exchange for funds administered by the state's General Improvement Fund.Paris "unequivocally" stated "that neither I nor Ecclesia College have been party to illegal activity." Paris' denial … [Read more...]

Ecclesia College President Denies Wrongdoing in Kickback Scheme

Earlier today, I wrote about Micah Neal, an Arkansas state legislator who admitted taking kickbacks from two unnamed non-profits in Arkansas in exchange for donations from Arkansas' General Improvement Fund. Neal made a plea agreement and is awaiting his fate.According to the plea agreement, money was given to Neal in exchange for $200,000 in government grants. From the plea agreement: aa. A check dated January 5, 2015 and drawn on Entity B’s Centennial Bank account ending in 0681 in the a … [Read more...]

Ecclesia College Benefited from Arkansas Bribery Scheme

UPDATE: Ecclesia College president Oren Paris III tonight issued a statement denying any wrongdoing in this case.A news report out of Arkansas sounds ominous for some of the blog's favorite people.Ecclesia College received $200,000 from an Arkansas government agency to build a building on campus. According to the report a sitting State Representative took a $18,000 bribe in order to funnel the money to Ecclesia.This isn't the first time Ecclesia benefited from public funds. The … [Read more...]

Your Daily Dose of David Barton: He’s Got a School Named After Him and He Thinks Revolution Might Be Near

Ecclesia College, a Christian college in Arkansas, has created the David Barton School of Political Science. I wonder if my political scientist co-author on Getting Jefferson Right, Michael Coulter will want to move South.Right Wing Watch brought the news to a grateful public.The Ecclesia press release is here. And you can watch:Now I am confused. Should we send our children to Ecclesia? Although it is a Christian college, Barton says half of young people going to Christian … [Read more...]