Kong Hee, the lead and founding pastor of Singapore's megachurch City Harvest Church, has been convicted for misappropriating Sg$24 m of the church funds. Now, the 50 year-old pastor has put his luxurious penthouse family home in Sentosa Cove up for sale. He and a co-owner are asking a cool $10 million for the duplex unit, more than the $9.33 million they paid in 2007.
Kong said: "The property that my family and I have been living in is co-owned with another family. We have been living at this property with the co-owner's kind permission after we had to sell our properties in order to pay the legal expenses for the ongoing trial."
He disputed an investor's description of the furnishings in his duplex penthouse, after visiting it, as "lavish and opulent". The investor who spoke to The Straits Times on the condition of anonymity, had said that Kong's home "is decorated with quality furniture and top of the range equipment. It gives me the impression that the owner sure knows how to enjoy the high life".
The charismatic pastor and five aides spent some of the church's money on music videos featuring scantily clad dancers to support Hee's wife Sun Ho's singing career in Asia and try to crack the US market.
Writing on Facebook, this is Kong's response:
Dear Church and friends,
By now, you would have heard that the judge has rendered his decision in the long-running trial.
This is a difficult time for me, and especially for my family, just as it is for the other co-accused persons.
As was the case throughout these past three years of court trial, and the earlier two years of investigation, I have put my faith and my all in God, and trust that whatever the outcome, He will use it for good in His time and in His way (Rom. 8:28; Eccl. 3:11). My family and I are continually assured and strengthened by the love and support shown to us during this entire time. We thank you for your prayers and encouragement, as they mean a lot to us. Please keep praying for me and those involved in the trial, for our families, and especially for the congregation of City Harvest Church, which I love so dearly with all my heart.
The days and steps ahead are challenging, but with God's grace and love, I have no fear. The Lord Jesus, my Good Shepherd, will lead and guide. I will obey, I will follow, by faith.
Love in Christ,