Singapore Megachurch Pastor Kong Hee Maintains Integrity at Sunday Service
By Ruth Miyake - Crossmap On July 2, 2012
Kong Hee, a mega-church Pastor in Singapore who has recently been arrested for fraud, appeared at Sunday service with his best effort to keep integrity.
"I do maintain my integrity," said the City Harvest Church founder who was charged last week for funneling millions of dollars to his wife's singing career.
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At his first service after the arrest, Kong was greeted with applause and a standing ovation from a crowd of at least 8,000 congregation.
"I also know that you are all here tonight to hear something from me," said Kong, according to The Straits Times.
"As you know, the past few days have been very challenging for me, my family and my team, and many allegations have been made in the media."
"Obviously, as this is an ongoing case, I cannot comment on the details, but please know that there are always two sides to every story. I look forward to the day when I can tell you my side of the story in court," Kong told the church.
Kong was charged with three counts of conspiracy to commit criminal breach of trust, for misappropriating at least 23 million Singapore dollars, which equals to $18 million U.S. dollars, of church funds to fund the singing career of his wife, Ho Yeow Sun, in the United States.
His wife appeared on stage in the service, leading the congregation in singing hymns.
While they sang, the others who were charged - deputy pastor Tan Ye Peng, 39, finance manager Sharon Tan Shao Yuen, 36, investment manager Chew Eng Han, 52, and church management board member John Lam Leng Hung, 44, - also on stage and exchanged hugs with Kong and his wife, according to The Church Report.
They are now out on bail, and all of them have said they will fight to clear their names.
Kong allegedly lived the lifestyle of a chief executive officer instead of a pastor. The 47-year-old pastor withdrew from City Harvest’s payroll in November 2005 and began to run his own business, according to the church's website.
Many young professionals are drawn to his pop concert-like services . The average age of the congregation is 24.