Grapevine - Television faith healer Benny Hinn, known for his claims of helping the afflicted with the touch of his hand, is building his ministry's international headquarters in Grapevine.
The building, which is being constructed on William D. Tate Avenue near Western Oaks Drive, will house offices for about 200 employees of Benny Hinn Ministries and the World Healing Center Church, ministry spokesman David Brokaw said. Employees are expected to move in by June, he said.
"This is going to be a traditional corporate office facility," Brokaw said.
"... There will be no facilities to accommodate the general public." The 1-story complex will have two wings, two atriums and a garden that overlooks a creek, said Fernando Andrade, a principal of AAE Architects of Dallas and architect of the building.
Hinn Ministries has been using temporary offices in Las Colinas since mid-October. Previously, Hinn was based in Orlando, Fla. The 53,625-square-foot building will include an assembly area for ministry staff, Brokaw said. It will not offer retail shops or marketing to the public, he said.
Brokaw declined to reveal the cost of the building.
Hinn has gathered support from believers worldwide who see him as a Pentecostal crusader able to heal the suffering. His television show, This Is Your Day, can be seen in 190 nations. In Fort Worth-Dallas his show is seen on the Trinity Broadcasting Network, which has studios in Irving and Southern California.
He has crusades scheduled in December for Argentina and Chile. Hinn receives about $60 million annually in donations, Brokaw has said. Detractors are skeptical of Hinn's healing claims and criticize him for his affluent lifestyle.
Last year, Hinn announced that he was moving his ministry headquarters to the Metroplex from Orlando, Fla. During a crusade in October 1999 at Reunion Arena in Dallas, he captivated crowds with a computer generated tour of a possible version of a world healing center, a spiritual theme park of sorts dedicated to faith healing.
Plans for such a center, which might include a library, prayer tower and an outdoor amphitheater, are in the works and "locations in several states are being pursued and considered," according to Brokaw's written statement.
Grapevine was chosen for the headquarters because it is a central location for the ministry, he said. But the 6.9-acre office complex on William D. Tate Avenue is not expected to be home to the healing center, Brokaw said.
Grapevine city officials said they were aware of Hinn's plans but had not been briefed on the project by officials from the faith healer's ministry. Plans for the office building were submitted in June to Grapevine officials, and a permit for construction was issued in August, city planners said. As an office, the ministry headquarters did not need approval from the Grapevine City Council, said Scott Williams, assistant director of development.
Plans for a church would require scrutiny by city staff, he said. Grapevine City Manager Roger Nelson said he was uncertain what effect the ministry might have on the city's cultural landscape.
"I've heard something about it. I have no idea ... about the details," Nelson said. Nelson said he is not familiar with Hinn's ministry. "I'm out of touch, I suppose," he said.