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‘Feed The Children’ fight brews

BY NOLAN CLAY Modified: February 21, 2009 at 1:52 am •  Published: February 21, 2009

photo - Feed the Children founder Larry Jones speaks to volunteers before giving out boxes of food & school supplies. By Steve Gooch
Feed the Children founder Larry Jones speaks to volunteers before giving out boxes of food & school supplies. By Steve Gooch
A secretive legal battle is under way for control of Feed The Children, a sometimes controversial Oklahoma City-based charity.

Both sides say they are the true Feed The Children.

The organization is known nationwide in large part because of founder Larry Jones’ emotional televised appeals for donations. It reported gross receipts of almost $1 billion in fiscal year 2007, mostly in "in-kind gifts.”

Five directors allege in a lawsuit they were unlawfully replaced in December on the board that oversees Feed The Children.

They ask an Oklahoma County judge to rule they are still the valid directors. They want the judge to throw out the new directors and invalidate all actions taken since Dec. 4 "by the alleged board.” Judge Patricia Parrish scheduled a hearing for noon Monday.

The new directors are Christian ministers from across the country.

What is behind the dispute has not been disclosed. Three of the released directors and their attorney, Jack Dawson, declined comment.

On the other side, in a short statement approved by Jones, attorney Leif Swedlow said the former directors are using the charity’s name without permission and the lawsuit is unauthorized.

"The suit attempts to dispute the election of five prominent pastors to Feed The Children’s board of directors. Read Feed the Children suit has disabled the comments for this article.

People involved in the dispute

New directors:

Mark Beeson of Elkhart, Ind.; Paul Osteen of Houston; Mark Crow of Oklahoma City; Al Jandl of Alvin, Texas; and Wayne Anderson of Honolulu.

Released directors: Dan Mugg

of Oklahoma City: Leo Fundaro of Rockwall, Texas; C. Earnest Wyatt, an Oklahoma City veterinarian; Rick England of Hinton; George Stevens of Oklahoma City; and Linda Schluchter. All but Schluchter are suing the new directors.

Unchanged directors: Founder Larry Jones and board chairman Dwight Powers of Edmond.


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