Largest Private Aquarium in a Church?!?

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Largest Private Aquarium in a Church?!?

On Friday I met with the Pastor of IBOC (Inspiring Body of Christ), which is a vibrant, growing church located south of Dallas. Four years ago, they approached a friend of mine, Greg Barron, to build them a new building. Not just an ordinary building, but one that people wouldn’t hardly believe. One that’s God-sized.

Barron Group of Companies (one of our design build clients in Texas; and a fellow member of the National Association of Church Design Builders) was awarded the contract. A $40,000,000 3-year contract.

Pastor Rickie Rush took us on the tour of his facility. He was so giddy to show us every part of this amazing building. Recently, IBOC was named as the best design/built structure in Texas by TEXO. So more than the Pastor is excited about this grand worship area.

From the moment you meet Pastor Rush, you know he’s a special man. His contagious, energetic way makes you want to do better for God. I can see why Barron created such an amazing facility for him. He dreams big, has a heart for God and motivates everyone around him. But if you ask Rickie, he’s quick to say all this is for God.

My simple take-away of the success of IBOC would be summed up in 3 points:

  1. A Purpose

    When you walk into any entrance, you’re greeted by Aquariums and a large wall beside each aquarium that spells out the purpose of IBOC. We’re called to be “fishers” of men. And the aquariums set the theme perfectly. All the fish come from various environments from around the world and now have to co-mingle. They have to go through a “decontamination” process before entering. Then they’re on show. Pastor Rush believes that the church acts as the decontamination zone before we’re “on show” as believers. The fish theme is everywhere in the church (kid’s areas and even a wave pattern in their spacious hall carpets). There’s no way that any one can attend or visit and not know their purpose. Singleness of purpose is the key to a lively, growing church.

  2. A Passion

    The Pastor runs this church like he runs his life. And I mean literally runs! He’s a small-in-stature yet large-in-presence person. He never stops loving. When our small group went on the tour, he took time to hug each one of us and tell us why we were special. Since I was the designated photographer, he took the time to tell me I was doing a great job. His passion for being Christ-like poured from him. And that emotion transcends to each volunteer. His presence motivates. In fact, the whole church is run by only 7 full-time employees and multitudes of volunteers. Motivation always flows from the top down. If the Pastor doesn’t have energy, the church won’t.

  3. A People

    Rickie is clear that he wants to win the world for Christ. And he’ll start in his targeted community. He loves each person who attends and is committed to influencing them to accept Christ. That targeted audience is talked about and prayed for regularly. The more you target a specific audience, the more you’ll see the results. Pastor Rush talks of specific stories of lives changed in his community. He knows them by name. Start small with a target of who you want to reach and you’ll grow faster than aiming for a huge territory.

  • Thomasina

    I enjoyed your post on IBOC aka MY church! I can see Pastor being excited to show you our new “House” It will be year on Thanksgiving, when the fisrt service was held there.

    Gotta admit tho, it took a few years to acquire at taste for Rickie Rush. I had another home church in Dallas for 5 1/2 years. Yet, I had friends at IBOC, so I would visit, especially on Thanksgiving and Christmas because my home church wasn’t opened.

    Long story short, I started visit other churches, then last year, IBOC started to become stuck on me. It was during the 1st or 2nd service in the new building, I thought “yea, I could be a part of this church.” Pastor Rush was so filled with emotion, it was the first time I saw him cry. So finally in April –yea, yea—it took me awhile–I joined IBOC. Got a t-shirt and everything.

    I’m glad I did. Glad you liked the place. 🙂

    October 26, 2010 at 6:09 pm
  • Thanks for commenting — I love hearing from people “in the pew”. Pastor Rush seems so genuine and engaging. I’m glad you settled into IBOC. The Lord bless!

    October 30, 2010 at 5:00 pm
    • Bdperry7

      My Lord and savior Jesus had fish and he used the fish to feed the thousands of women, children and men. At my church we seek CHRIST not David or Solomon. God bless you all

      June 9, 2012 at 11:29 am
      • News430

        In the body of christ there are many members. We, the sheep have our place in the body and so do the pastors. They are sent to help with the word from the bible. Be careful when you scorn them or doubt there ability to do what God has called them to do. If you do not trust them be your own pastor and that way you can put your mouth on yourself. Oh, by the way if you did not tithe there you have no say so anyway. Is it possible the tank,fish and the water are all donated by people who believe the vision to bring people to christ through a visual display of Gods awsome wonders. Many people are visual. This blog demonstrates Gods progression of his word because it challenges the small interpretation we have of him. Feeding poor people for a day is nothing compared to feeding them with the word of God so they can feed themselves for the rest of their life. Our only purpose in life is to win people to christ. If a fish tank draws someone in to get a word to change their life mission accomplished. Where is your tank or whatever you use. Is it small or is it large. It does not matter use it.

        June 13, 2012 at 12:13 pm
        • Sis Toni

          I am a new member of IBOC but not a new BELIEVER. I was not drawn to the fish aquariums or the building. My mother is a member and invited me to come and listen to the Word that was being taught because of the situation I was going through at the time which happened to be at a smaller church. I attended a Monday Night school and was amazed at how the HOLY SPIRIT spoke through this anointed Man of God. Pastor Rush did not know me from Mary but told me everything I was going through and the ways Satan was attacking me, through the message God had given him to teach. Not only that, he then gave me(us) the words to take to God in prayer. I have yet to have a private one on one conversation with him. I attended only Monday school for a year and then decided to join. After that I started attending Sunday services. I have been there a little over 2yrs now. My focus is not a building or fish but how to build a stronger relationship with CHRIST who will then guide me into WHAT HE WANTS ME TO DO IN HIS KINGDOM and I am being taught how to do just that. I pay my tithes because the Holy Spirit and scripture teaches me to do so. Do I care where the money goes? NO. If I see someone in need or on the corner asking for a dollar I GIVE TO THEM because God will make sure I have that to give with plenty left over. I don’t know if I’m entertaining an angel or not. My life is changing because of the WORD not Pastor Rush. Although I do thank him for letting God use him as a vessel to help those who are truly seeking God. For me, I am happy to see Men and Women of God prosper and live the abundant life no matter what level it is. That’s what Jesus came to give. It’s not easy going to God praying in the Spirit for people who slander and scandalize your name, spitefully use you or out right lie about you. But if you truly know God and have a REAL relationship with Him then you know this is something YOU HAVE to do before you can ask for anything on your own behalf. It’s more than a notion. Jesus said I ASSURE YOU THAT EVERYONE WHO HAS GIVEN UP HOUSE OR BROTHERS OR SISTERS OR MOTHER OR FATHER OR CHILDREN OR PROPERTY, FOR MY SAKE AND FOR THE SAKE OF THE GOOD NEWS,WILL RECEIVE NOW IN RETURN A HUNDRED TIMES AS MANY HOUSES, BROTHERS, SISTERS, MOTHERS, CHILDREN,AND PROPERTY—‘ALONG WITH PERSECUTION’. AND IN THE WORLD TO COME THAT PERSON WILL HAVE ETERNAL LIFE. MARK 10:29-30. Pastor Rush has been preaching 42 years..Do any of you know what all he has given up?

          July 9, 2012 at 7:41 am
        • Sis Toni

          sorry comment wasn’t meant for get it.

          July 9, 2012 at 8:19 am
        • ijs

          “is it possible the tank,fish and the water are all donated by people who believe”….. in response no not at all this was built all on the tithes and offering of the church. when the concept was presented to the church it was concrete building plans had already been made. it was presented as this is what it will be point blank period. (i went to this church for ten yrs and was there during that time and was in leadership !)

          September 13, 2012 at 9:28 pm
  • Reality Check

    Real wonderful building that provides nothing for the community and all for that particular church. Questions: Why do thos who work up under such a loving pastor struggle? He has at least 4 cars last time I was at his home. Yet those who have faithfully worked in kitchens or as teachers/maintenance personnel walk and catch buses! Rickie lives on acres, in Frost Farms in Desoto. How could he afford that while claiming to never have a raise? Where did the money come from?? How is it that you can say,direct quote-“We won’t be taking up benevolent offering”-which is supposed to be the offering to help others financially, yet he owns swans, valued at over 2000 dollars. Horses which costs upwards of 1500 a week to feed. The people at iboc are financing the dream and lifestyle of a manipulative pastor. When it gets exposed FULLY…remember you read it here 1st

    December 20, 2010 at 1:56 pm
    • Rh3amorris

      Excuse me reality check let me tell you that what happens is going to happen and my pastor is just following the will of god he might of mad some mistakes over the time but hes human just like you. I and think you’ve gone way over line by telling people of the web where he lives, that is none of your business! Unless you would like to complain anymore! I would like to as k you to shut your mouth and just tell God. And if you know so much about this predicament why don’t you do something. Oh wait you can’t! Now this is soo dumb how all of you are fighting on a website that was supposed to be talking about God’s vision. I hope you ask for forgiveness. I’m praying for all of you.
      May God god bless you

      December 31, 2011 at 8:16 pm
      • Gabrial

        Reality check. God said NOT to put things up for you on earth for he has a mansion for you in heaven. Unless you are feeding and clothing and helping as many people as you have fish, in your bodacious aquarium you had better check with the man upstairs and search your soul and ask why anyone in your congrigation might be hungry or cold tonight. Jones town believe their pastor was a man of faith. Look where they wound up listening to him. May Almighty God have mercy on your soul and I pray you wake up to the truth before its to late.

        January 6, 2013 at 9:29 am
    • Winner

      Reality Check…… said a key word (WORK). To me that sounds like those people you are referring to were getting paid.(Job creation) If you have a job, I hope the CEO of your company don’t have at least four cars, nor own a house on acres. I’m also pretty sure that EVERY employee that works for the company you work for have a car!!! Lord knows if you have a job you better not be struggling financially at ALL!!! Since you posted this comment I know you are financially set (sarcasm).

      July 15, 2012 at 2:34 pm
    • timesha mcfan

      Exactly and i mean how can the people not see right through it get real!!! Lmao

      April 24, 2014 at 8:47 pm
  • Thank you for writing your comment: if he is in fact misleading/misusing/overstepping his role in the church, I pray that God will deal with him. In the meantime, pray for him! We’re all in the need of a Savior.

    I didn’t see any of the things you mentioned when I was visiting (it was for a short time).

    More importantly, don’t let any of this take your eyes off Christ (our Savior) and the REAL Church (the collection of people who are Christ-followers). Keep your faith in God not any man. The moment we deify any person, we’re doing wrong.

    December 20, 2010 at 3:38 pm
  • Reality Check

    Thanks for responding, I submit to you that his teachings, teach his congregation to deify him and he teaches that the church building is synonymous with God. Prayers for him have been offered up constantly, and I’m sure God will deal with him, like he does all His children, through people. However wrong is wrong, I will expose him at every opportunitywhich is why I’m sharing. Of course you didn’t have that experience, I was there from age 16 to 23 before I “peeped the game”. Anyways, you write well, hope to catch more of your future bloggings.

    December 20, 2010 at 3:59 pm
  • Amariah McCallister

    I’ve gone to IBOC for the last couple of days and I got to tell you it was amazing. Pastor is a funny person and he cares for the children at the chruch. He breaks down the message down so good that even the kids could under stand him. If I were you I would go to IBOC and give his chruch a good review. IBOC is on 7701S. Westmoreland Rd. Dallas, Tx ZDERZ

    March 23, 2011 at 11:19 pm
  • So glad you chimed in. Pastor Rush is a fireball! He seems to love the Lord!

    March 24, 2011 at 9:00 am
  • TruthBeTold

    Sadly, after 12 years of membership and service I would have to agree with “Reality Check”. But I also agree that we shouldn’t lose focus. It wasn’t until I truly developed an intimate relationship with Christ that the scales were removed from my eyes to see that in terms of “fishers of men” where Jesus teaches the disciples to “fish” souls into the kingdom of God, Pastor Rush teaches to bring people into “his” church. This was demonstrated at the last service I attended there where he told all the members that it was our fault that we still had empty chairs in our building, we were supposed to be fishing them in – therefore bringing them in to Rickie, not to Christ. May God do a mighty work in that ministry before they suffer a plunder at the hands of man.

    May 4, 2011 at 3:23 pm
  • Again, I’ve never been a member of this church — I’ve met Pastor Rush only two times and I didn’t see or hear any of this.

    I’m glad that you’ve found Christ! We as a Church need to have our eyes cast on Christ and no Pastor. Christ is our Salvation, our Rock and Our Comfort. Pastors are fallible men who need to point to Christ.

    I’m glad you’re on a good path. Keep in the Word!

    May 4, 2011 at 3:42 pm
  • I have to say that i am a very proud member of The Inspiriong Body of Christ Churc, and have been for 7years now. I love hearing the word of God being spoken by one of his very own “FISHERMEN”, my Pastor, Ricki Rush. I have changed and i see the change. I’m still not where i want to be, but i am NOT where i USE TO BE either so i give God ALL the honor, praise, and the Glory for allowing so many people like me, to receive the word and to see ALL the fish in the tanks, that represents ALL of us. Amen 🙂

    May 31, 2011 at 5:44 pm
  • Greta, keep looking to Christ. Trust Him and allow Him to purify you. We’re not perfect; but Christ works away on us. Keep it up!

    May 31, 2011 at 8:49 pm
  • Ashley Jones

    I think its great that this church has the funds to build a $40 million project! For a tenth of that cost the church could have built a beautiful sanctuary, with more than enough room for their dwindling congregation, and a still have a wonderful aquarium centerpiece. I think they could have given the difference back to the city of Dallas. Dallas is struggling with gangs, drugs, homelessness, children in need…and so much more. Couldn’t that money have been put to better use?! Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of dollars, possibly closer to a million, it costs per year to maintain that monstrosity and pay their ON STAFF MARINE BIOLOGIST! What ever happened to humility?

    September 2, 2011 at 9:37 pm
    • Ashley, TOO


      What ever happened to a logical argument? To denigrate the all good the IBOC Church does for the Dallas community, which you are clearly ignorant of, by criticizing an improvement to a place of God clearly does not make sense.

      Before you make such a gross assumption, I encourage you to contact Pastor Rush yourself and simply ask him how much money the church has spent on community outreach and addressing some, or all, of the issues you mentioned. Additionally, church financial reports are easily accessible over the internet, or by request at the facility.

      I hope that you would take the opportunity to do this so that you could realize that IBOC has spent well over $40 million in the Dallas community so far.

      Also, think about all of the multi-million dollar office buildings, and theatres we come into contact with everyday. Now think about the significance of a church being the nicest place you attend all week. I frankly see nothing wrong with that as long as other issues are being tended to, which they are at IBOC.

      I would also like to point out the hypocrisy of your argument. You obviously typed that post on a computer. Yet, you don’t really need that computer, you don’t need to stay where you stay now, there’s always homeless shelters or maybe you could just go live off the land somewhere. You don’t need to eat the food you eat, you could always just live off canned food or better yet food which you capture from the land. You don’t need multiple articles of clothing in your closet, you really don’t need utilities because humanity survived for a long time without them, you don’t need a television, you don’t need a cell phone. I’m sure by now you get the point I’m trying to make. It is very possible to live in a strictly minimalist fashion, but think about your quality of life alone in the woods somewhere living off the land. You could donate all of the money you spend on purchasing and maintaining the things I mentioned, yet you haven’t have you? Or maybe you’re blogging from your WIFI hotspot in the middle of the woods.

      November 6, 2012 at 4:18 pm
  • BMac

    I just watched the television program showing the unveiling of the 57,000 gallon aquarium. The first word that crossed my lips was “obscene”. I do a lot of work with Habitat for Humanity and to think of the number of families that could truely be served by $40 million dollars (cost of the building) and the aquarium that must have cost upwards of $100,000… made me almost physically ill. God is shamed by this greedy man! And the congregation should hang their heads as they cross the threshold of this monument to excess.

    September 2, 2011 at 11:51 pm
  • Dave H

    Just saw this church on “Tanked”. What an amazing load of crap this “minister” must be able to spew. The salesman in me is seriously applauding, because that’s all this guy is. Everything that is wrong with organized religion is embodied in this facility. Go to their website, you will find that it is currently under construction, but they already have links to for online giving and an online store. This does nothing more than prey on the beliefs of people who want so desperately to believe in something. Congratulations to this thief on all his success. He’s enthusiastic? Of course he is! I will guarantee it. It’s easy to be energetic and enthusiastic when you do two services a week and spend the rest counting other people’s hard earned money. It’s really sad to see good honest people exploited this way.

    September 3, 2011 at 6:35 pm
  • Becky W

    I also watched the “Tanked” episode today. While I love aquariums and think that it was amazing, I do agree that the exorbitant amount of money spent on everything would have fed or housed a ton of people! I don’t believe that God approves of all the glitz and glamour of these mega churches either. He cares for what is in the hearts of his children and the works that they do for Christ’s church, not what the “building” looks like!!! Can you imagine how simple and unimportant that structure would look in heaven where the STREETS are made of GOLD!!!! God has no concern or use for money and it’s too bad that more people can’t realize that and quit throwing theirs into the bank accounts of these manipulating men that call themselves God’s ministers!

    September 3, 2011 at 9:53 pm
  • Reina L

    UNBELIEVABLE. here i was laying in bed, turned the TV on to Animal planet hoping to relieve my insomnia. thinking it’d be some cute show about kittens, involving NO THINKING so i could just relax and sleep. instead i got this abomination. well i just posted on my facebook & will just copy and paste what i wrote there:

    if God meant for His church to be based on a book, why would He come at a time when most were illiterate, owning a book was a luxury almost none could afford, & knowing the New Testament wouldn’t even be written til several decades after Jesus rose? so aggravated cause turned the TV to Animal Planet to help my insomnia, thinking i’d see some cute kittens, NOT THINK, & just relax. instead it’s an episode called “Tanked” w/c shows a megachurch in Dallas putting in a 57,000 gallon aquarium

    i’m dumbfounded again.we’re the only ones who can trace our history of leaders 2000 years to Jesus Himself. the oldest protestants are only 5 centuries old, beginning with Luther, and these megachurches are only decades old, started from some guy who just decided to base a church on HIMSELF, and in a century or 2 those bldgs. will be malls or apt. complexes.

    Catholics honor the Bible, but it came from us, not vice versa. early Christians worshiped the Eucharist as we do in Mass today, without Eucharist people are worshiping a book. not meaning to offend anyone but i see a TV show like this which worsened my insomnia, and i MUST say something or i won’t sleep AT ALL. AAUUUGH it’s 2:30 a.m. and thanks to this i’ll be up for a while still

    P.S i’ve attended some protestant services and i can’t stand when they pray for jobs. they only do it so people will tithe more. we never pray like that at Mass, and in fact Catholic churches prefer you go to the nearest Catholic church in your neighborhood, there is no such thing as “come to MY church”(physical location) but a desire to draw others into the one true Catholic faith that was founded by Jesus Himself, as we trace our lineage of popes to the first pope, Peter, Matthew 16:18

    September 5, 2011 at 3:38 am
  • Paul N

    Reina, read Psalm 119. The word of God has always been important.

    Paul said to desire the sincere milk of the word like a babe.

    Please dont pain all churches with the same brush as one could the same thing catholic churches and there terrible ills.

    I too just watched tanked and was like WHAT!

    So the message is that different types of fish live in the same water as people have to in this world. So he couldnt have just said it? why on earth do we need a fish tank for thousands to say that? I dont see how this has anything to do with God. Its as if “our” church has to out do someone elses.

    I went to a Mega Church and knew people who were poor and that seemed to be it while millions came into the Church. It is a travesty among travesties, a crying shame!

    September 5, 2011 at 12:48 pm
  • Reina L

    OF COURSE the Bible is important, i stated that in my post. we honor it at Mass, we read it, and the priest raises it high on the altar as we bow to it. we have Bible study, which is all that protestant services are- Bible studies. it is not acceptable sacrifice, acceptable worship without Eucharist. we honor Bible, but we WORSHIP JESUS. HE is in the EUCHARIST. read Luke 24– they didn’t know it was the risen Lord, didn’t even recognize Him when He quoted Scripture. v. 35. they knew HIM IN THE BREAKING OF THE BREAD. then He vanished— He was in them, in Eucharist. the New testament did NOT exist til almost a century after He rose, so how could early Christian worship center on it? it centered on Eucharist, without that, it is just all very very strange. my first thought and question to my friend, upon my first time even in a megachurch after i had just moved to TX in 2006 , was– “where is Jesus”? the whole focus is just off

    September 5, 2011 at 1:48 pm
  • Marshall E.

    I’m agnostic so I could care less, but for everyone complaining on what Rush could’ve done with the money he spent on his church and/or tank- when’s the last time you gave up a luxury for the needy????

    September 5, 2011 at 6:52 pm
  • I figure I’ll chime in (since I wrote the original article).

    There’s a few points:
    1. This blog was intended to discuss IBOC (that I’m not affiliated with at all) and it’s success. They did build this huge church. They must have some level of success — and I LOVE the way the aquarium demonstrates their ministry/vision.
    2. It’s easy to criticize what others are doing (no one does everything right); but this blog (and my other writings); are not to find fault, but to point out positives.
    3. When it comes to ministries and non-profits, it’s difficult to balance “helping/giving to help others” and “building infrastructure to attract/help others”. And how much is too much?
    4. I don’t have the answers. Yes, this is an extravagant building. But I also know that what I saw/heard while there was a genuine message of hope and life that only comes through Christ. I pray that the building (and your thoughts about it) won’t stand in the way of the amazing salvation that’s free to anyone who accepts it.
    5. Will others keep commenting? Yep. But I’m through… I think.

    September 5, 2011 at 9:03 pm
    • BrendaFL

      I have never heard of this church or Pastor until I watched Tanked. (1st) it’s amazing the tanks those guys build. (2nd) Judge not least ye be judged. (3rd) I bet it brings in a lot of people churched and unchurched to see the tank then they get a sermon. It’s a win win. The way I see it if you don’t like where you are then find a different pew in a different church. (that was a quote from my pastor)

      June 3, 2012 at 4:15 pm
  • Reina L

    2 Corinthians 11:14 “And no wonder, for even Satan masquerades as an angel of light.”
    this applies not only to people like this pastor but for evil orgs like susan komen race for the cure bullshit that donates to planned parenthood KNOWING abortions/ contraceptives increase breast cancer .
    satan is smarter than all of us, people forget that. he made that apple look very very good to Eve, to the downfall of all of us

    September 5, 2011 at 9:31 pm
  • Reina L

    i’m not against spending for God’s glory. some Catholic Cathedrals have artwork worth millions. the system is set up where priests/nuns don’t get money directly, they take vows of poverty and truly serve their people . they LIVE their LIFE for others, not just “giving to the needy” but giving their WHOLE SELVES, like Mother Teresa. ONLY Catholicism can produce a Mother Theresa, mark my words on that. and the past centuries had her equivalent, other saints, all Catholic. what i am against is people running amok with the Bible. and getting so far from the truth it’s crazy.

    compare it to our govt. -our founding fathers wrote the Constitution, and set up a govt., including a Supreme Court to interpret the Constitution for us. if they didn’t, and it was a free-for -all, and they just said “make of this what you will” , there’d be chaos, rioting, groups fractioning off over this or that amendment.

    likewise Jesus was wise to set His church upon Peter, he and those early apostles are our founding fathers of the Catholic church. there was nothing but us til Luther, a former Catholic priest, found himself in losing battles and with the aid of the invention of the printing press, was able to get his heresies out and influence many. but by the end of his life he was repulsed by what calvinists, others had come up with. all he caused was more and more splitting, he would have had a lot more credibility if protestants didn’t keep splitting. but to make it worse, on top of the baptists, methodists , all the others who can not trace back further than 500 years ago, you have these weirdos that have been only around for decades, just founding their own church on a whim. all of this couldn’t be further from what Jesus meant. the Bible CAME FROM US CATHOLICS, just as the Constitution came from our founding fathers, but it was all part of a system they set up, not THE THING In itself. this pastor will not leave any legacy when he is gone and he is one of those spoken of in Matthew 7:21-23 – “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

    September 5, 2011 at 9:44 pm
  • jay

    WHY IS IT THAT WHEN A CHURCH PROSPERS IT HAS TO BE WRONG OR SOME SHADY HAPPENINGS IN THERE? I NEVER HEARD OF THIS CHURCH TILL YESTERDAY WATCHING TANKED. I TOO WAS LIKE OMG IN A CHURCH, UNHEARD OF. I SAID UNHEARD OF BUT NOT WRONG. BUT I GOTTA SAY WHAT I SAW I LIKED SO I WON’T CONDEM THE MAN. YOU FORGET IN THE BOOK OF ACTS THE SAINTS SOLD THERE LAND & GAVE. ONE WOULD SAY THEN THAT THEY HAD MONEY. AGAIN NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT EITHER. If the man preaches Christ and people come to Christ & are inwardly/outwardly changed for the better then he can’t be all wrong. Nobody except for Osteen had a mega church his first day as pastor. So if the pastor had a small church and the church grew, then he must be doing something right. We see the results but not the process or the struggle. We judge him by his fruit not his building. Don’t forget what Solomon’s temple looked like.

    September 6, 2011 at 1:43 am
    • ijs

      this church took out loans( i attended there for ten yrs) to build this is that Godly? im sure solomons temple was not built on loans?

      September 13, 2012 at 9:33 pm
  • Reina L

    money is not evil. Catholic church is the richest in the world. it is the LOVE of money.
    again, what i am pointing out is the bizareness of it all, not just megachurches, but protestants, period. megachurches are just the epitome of the farthest you can get from what Jesus meant. Eucharist was the FOCUS of early Christian worship, the Bible did NOT EXIST. Catholics alone have been around for 2000 years since Jesus, the oldest protestants- the lutherans, are merely a split from the catholics, all other protestants are a split from luther, etc etc. till you have what you have today, people just willy nilly making their own church calling it “non-denominational” which is so absurd, and these are the ones FARTHEST away from early Christian worship. it makes me so so so sad. people don’t even know what they are missing. John 6:53 unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you have NO LIFE. and protestants like to say “eat” means spiritually eat. yet John used the word in Hebrew for eat, that means “animal eating”, or “gnawing” and the word for “flesh” which was the hebrew for the kind of flesh on an animal corpse, leaving no doubt that Eucharist is TRULY JESUS BODY, a point ALL protestants miss. its’ all so strange. Luke 24. read it all. they only knew Jesus in the breaking of the bread, NOT even when He quoted Scripture, then He vanished after breaking of bread, cause Jesus was then INSIDE them

    September 6, 2011 at 3:13 am
  • One of the things I have always enjoyed about the Catholic and the high church is the desire to create an atmosphere of awe and worship. Visiting the old cathedrals of Europe is breath-taking. The tall architecture, murals, sculptures, stain glass, all lift our hearts and minds past the earthly toward the majestic. It leads to worship. I have no doubt that this aquarium has the ability to do the same.

    Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory. – Isaiah 6:3

    Mark, thanks for the article. The gifts of worship to God are often misunderstood and criticized by man. The woman who broke her alabaster jar of perfume and anointed Jesus feet was criticized for her waste, but Jesus honored the gift and proclaimed it to be retold where ever the Gospel was taken.

    September 6, 2011 at 11:34 am
  • shawn

    You should visit the Church if you’ve never been. Gods presence is in this church for sure, that’s all I care about. Fish tanks or no fish tanks this place and the pastor are annointed.

    September 9, 2011 at 1:14 am
  • Disgusted

    I just watched the “Tanked” episode boasting Ricky Rushes pride and joy. It’s disgusting the things people will do in the name of the Lord. Yeah, and I checked out his website that’s “under construction” yet they managed to get the important stuff up…a link to give online, a picture of the 40 million dollar building, oh and….drum roll….a picture of the gift shop! I think the fishers of men fits perfectly…Fishers of men’s money!! Disgusting, absolutely disgusting!!

    September 10, 2011 at 12:01 am
  • Really Disgusted

    Where in the bible does it suggest that a $40 million dollar “home” is required to get to heaven?

    How does Pastor Ricky afford his cars his huge house all of his horses and his flock of geese?
    How many of his “flock” go without just so they can give to this charlatan.
    What does a 57,000 gallon fish tank have to do with god???

    I love Jesus it’s his fan club I can’t stand

    September 11, 2011 at 3:24 pm
    • Godscreation

      Read Your Bible…It’s symbolic. The Bible says;”follow me and I(Jesus) will make you fishers of men.Why would you be disgusted about something “you” didn’t have “nothing” to do with. If those of “us”(IBOC Family) are pleased with what God is doing through “OUR” Man of God, and blessing him to bring the “vision” forth, what’s the problem?

      March 4, 2012 at 12:02 am
  • Bruce

    @ Regina,

    You say, “there was nothing but us til Luther”. That is a lie. Read some history books, would ya… and also some books about punctuation. It may have appeared that Roman Catholics were the only ones until Luther because the Roman Catholic church killed anyone, well, almost anyone, who objected to their many heresies.

    September 16, 2011 at 1:39 pm
    • Curious Catholic

      The typical Protestant conception of the Church is that it is invisible. Though individuals may group together for fellowship and Bible study, their churches are really like clubs in a city. The real church, say Protestants, is the broad and unseen group of the saved.

      The Catholic Church, in contrast, teaches that the Church is a visible organization. Being a visible organization, it can be identified–it has marks. The marks are that it is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic–“one” in that it is a unified organization, “holy” in that it is an organization divinely established, “catholic” in that it is to embrace all of mankind, and “apostolic” in that a line of succession has been kept with the authority Christ passed to Peter and the apostles.
      Please read the history of the church and you will see the Catholic Church (yes, even with its members as sinners) is the one true Church founded by Christ himself.
      As for as your beautiful church…I have no problem with it!

      June 3, 2012 at 12:32 am
  • Anita

    Has anyone read the Old Testament that describes the temple to the Lord that King Solomon built? Was he too opulent? If so, why did God honor him?

    September 16, 2011 at 7:21 pm
    • ijs

      was that church built on millions of dollars in bank loans? is that god?

      September 13, 2012 at 9:35 pm
  • Anita, now we’re talking! I’m amazed at how many criticize a Pastor based on what a building looks like. God knows the heart and loves when we extravagantly use “stuff” to point to him. Sometimes (because God loved the widow who gave very little too!).

    May we all see how the aquarium demonstrates that God can take people from all over the world, give them a common purpose, and allow them all to get along.

    Be slow to tear apart, and quick to recognize God!

    September 17, 2011 at 3:03 pm
  • Patrick Gillen

    You go Pastor and Dallas. This is exactly what this country needs. This provided jobs and wil for many years. The only way to re-build this hurting country – is to re-build it. God Bless You. Always look at the positive. Even down to the company and workers that provide the salt for the tank. We are all connected. This Mega church in the long run helps our economy. Greetings from Escondido, CA.

    September 24, 2011 at 12:27 am
  • Melissa

    I don’t know what’s more pathetic, this gaudy and pointless display or these morons making excuses for it. I’m just glad to see some people actually able to use their brains reasonably, religious or not.

    September 24, 2011 at 2:14 am
  • Thanks Patrick! Sometimes it’s easier to complain and find fault than it is to see silver linings. Are we all doing everything 100% correct? Nope. But let’s pull together and try to point people to God. He’s the only One doing it ALL right 🙂

    September 24, 2011 at 1:32 pm
  • Jeff

    $40,000,000 could sure feed a lot of poor people…

    I was thinking, as I watched that episode of “Tanked,” maybe pastor Rickie should take another look at the bible… It seems like he doesn’t understand the Word.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:03 am
  • Hellawaits

    Another con hiding behind the cross. Jay no one said a church can’t prosper but when you hear 40 million to build a church it just goes to show you how gullible people are. His job is to help people in need and from reading he only employes 7 people. So he isn’t even creating jobs. People are dying of hunger and there are 1 in every 5 children here in the US going to bed with no food on the table. I don’t understand the mentality of people just because some one says that they are doing it for God then it must be true. Open your eyes folks. If you believe in God the pray to him and don’t let someone tell you how to believe. He probably doesn’t believe in God himself he just sees it as a business. Like a priest I once knew said “You can bull$h!t a bull$h!tter”.

    September 28, 2011 at 7:46 pm
    • PleasedwithGod

      hellawaits…You idiot there are WAY more than 7 people employed at IBOC! You said in this ridiculous post ” I don’t understand the mentality of people just because some says that they are doing it for God then it must be true”. Check you own mentality, just because someone on this blog said that there are only 7 people employed at IBOC then it must be true??? Think before you write and check your source of information.

      July 15, 2012 at 2:43 pm
      • ijs

        hellawaits is not an idiot thats what the article stated did you not read it.

        September 13, 2012 at 8:21 pm
      • ijs

        you are referring to the individuals that work at the school they don’t work for the church so hellwaits and the article are correct there are only 7 full time staff members at the CHURCH!

        September 13, 2012 at 9:41 pm
  • Hellawaits

    The idea of a priest or pastor is to live a life like Christ no show up Christ!

    September 28, 2011 at 7:55 pm
  • La Tonna Roberson

    It seems to me, that a lot of you are bitter about your own house. Put in your jealousy in check.
    The nerve, you speak of a price on a building? God’s house. I am not a member of that church have never met the pastor, I have been there 1 time and I have heard the pastor speak.
    You sohould know an anointed man just by his speech alone. It is easy to speak on things you don’t know about.! Before you judge that man or that church, walk in his shoes!
    You don’t know the struggles that man or that congregation has been through. And as far as what could have been done with the money- feed the people, help the homeless.
    Only as fool would say such a thing.! I’m sure that church does a lot for that communit
    If you don’t have enough since to know – I’ll tell you, fool. No one pays cash for anything.
    I’m sure the church has a mortgage like everyone else. As far as his house, his cars, etc.
    Jesus wasn’t a bum! I don’t want a pastor that is in poverty, not receiving the blessing that Jesus promises.. I don’t know what GOD you serve., but my GOD is capable of putting me in a benz and a house with an aquarium!!! Faith without works is dead. That s why you don’t have nothing….. Just thought. I would like you know somethings the church won’t say, because they wanna be proper. This is coming at you from the world, get a life.
    Oh and Real Talk , you should be called real bull …. Stop being bitter . I’m sure you can find something better to do with your time. If you can’t put your name up , shut up!!!

    October 23, 2011 at 12:49 pm
    • ijs

      the church does not do that much for the community and you are right he is annointed but it is possible to now always operate under the anointing that church has changed and not for the better

      September 13, 2012 at 9:05 pm
  • La Tonna Roberson

    By the way, that is a beautiful church.!! To the author of this story. It is beautiful and a wonderful peace. Thanks for explaining the meaning of the aquariums. I didn’t know that there was a meaning behind them when I was there. You really enlightened me ! Thanks and God Bless

    October 23, 2011 at 1:00 pm
  • Thanks La Tonna! God bless you — “being content!”

    October 24, 2011 at 12:36 pm
  • shanice

    I agree with OBSERVER, I could not have said it better myself.

    October 31, 2011 at 10:49 am
  • Brenda

    OBSERVER? Whoever you are, GOD BLESS YOU!!!
    I second that!!! THANK YOU for standing up for our “Pastor/Church”.
    The Bible says “people perish because of the lack of knowledge.”
    They criticize what they “don’t” understand. What does the “fish-tank” have to do with God? It’s symbolic, read your Bible: “FOLLOW ME(JESUS), AND I WILL MAKE YOU FISHER’S OF MEN”.-Matt 4:19- Bringing lost souls to Christ.

    November 1, 2011 at 8:07 pm
    • ijs

      the scripture actually says ” Jesus said follow me and i will make you fishers of men” how come thoes two words were left off on the mural above the tank?????

      September 13, 2012 at 9:10 pm
  • Brenda


    November 1, 2011 at 8:18 pm
  • Observer

    Thanks Brenda….I will see you Sunday.

    I really hate to say what I say because I am saying some things that are personal in regards to those who are hating on our ministry, our church, our pastor. But I have to be personal because you haters are making this attack on him personal. It is amazing that you know his number, but you will not call and tell him these things yourself.

    I refuse to let you all run down our church and pastor, and Christianity in general via blog or Facebook or whatever. I really want you all to find the peace in your heart to forgive yourselves and move on.

    I want to explain a few things to help you cope.

    1.) You are not upset or dislike Pastor Rush and IBOC, you dislike God and his works. (Sidebar: You say you like Jesus, just not his fanclub). The root of leaving a ministry and surely running down ministry is never the ministry itself, it is your lack of belief in God or disappointment by God. And God never disappointed you, you just made some decisions that didn’t turn out to well for you

    2.) You only prove what God is teaching through Pastor Rush and IBOC. Come on now, you have been there. You have played your role and risen up like verified sources because you haters are ex-leadership. You got your facts right, but lacking in truth. Thanks for proving that those who sit among us can and will turn on us when things don’t go there way.

    3.) Churches and Money go hand in hand. IBOC is not broke or some thieving ground . You know that. You also know that Pastor Rush is not greedy or a thief. The money and church argument comes because we are all sensitive about our money. Your hope is that people will look at your facts of Pastor Rush living XYZ and driving 123 will deter them from this church or at least giving to this church. Seriously, is that your argument. Whatever he is being paid, he should be paid well. DUH. Big church, lots of members, why would he be getting minimum wage or just enough to get a studio apartment.

    4.) $40 million for a building. What’s your issue? That’s called an investment in the community that will last for decades. In addition, $40 million was spent because we can afford and deserve it. Our community isn’t the prettiest thing this side of the Trinity, but development from the church serves as inspiration for private developers to turn an eyesore into a sight for sore eyes.

    I love my church. God bless.

    November 3, 2011 at 11:44 am
  • BoldManOfGod

    First of all let me state that I do not hate Pastor Rush or anyone else for that matter. I don’t waste my time on hate. But on the real I DO agree with Reality Check. I was a member of IBOC and had been with the church 1993 to 2006. I personally take no pleasure in running down any one especially a church because I’m free and “the truth” made me that way.
    Those who are held captive to hate attempt to run down others but don’t get that confused with the truth. I want to address a couple of the points made by Observer.

    1) I’m not upset or dislike Rickie Rush. I do love God that’s what allows me to tell the truth and not sugar cote anything. I refuse to be luke warm for any person or establishment (or ministry). Rush always taught that the definition of Christianity means Christ-like.
    Can you honestly tell me that Christ lived that way Rush is living now… Really… you can only drive one car at a time. The pastor is suppose to be under Sheppard of God’s church (that means making sure that that the sheep lack nothing. Trust I’m not disappointed in God, I have direct access to Him and his favor.

    2)I’m not ex-leadership I’m simply an ex-member who woke up. Kind of like Peter did on his road to Damascus. There are a lot of things that are wrong with IBOC weather you want to face it or not. Or perhaps it will take time for God to remove the veil.

    3) As for as Churches and Money going hand in hand. This is exactly the opposite of the Church that Christ lead. Money was not his goal in the sacrifice for the Church… Read you Bible for yourself.
    I do not think that Rush is a thief by no means. However the further you get away from the original goal of the Church the more cracks you leave open for the enemy. He should not live in a studio apartment but Christ was lowly at heart and did not draw attention to himself with stuff. Rush has excess and a lot of it face it.

    4) Really an investment in the community. There are members that I personally know of that have been there 15+ years who still don’t have a dependable transportation and he has multiple expensive cars. Now should he be driving the Nissan Stanza that he used to drive today? No! Absolutely not… You can only drive one car at a time. Remember God is not against you having nice things but face the truth excess is excess Observer!
    If he want’s to invest in the community build houses and let those who meet a predetermined criteria live there who are in need that are loyal members. It’s a tax write off for the church. And for those members that are loyal and need dependable transportation invest in cars. Oprah did it and she does not claim Christianity.
    A million dollars for an aquarium. Really!
    Be proud of your church but read what God’s original idea was/is for His Church it has not changed!

    God Bless….

    November 16, 2011 at 4:35 am
    • Godscreation1963

      No, you don’t hate Pastor Rush, You just “jealous” of him.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:45 pm
      • Ohplease123

        Why is it that every time people tell it like it is, they always say that person is jealous. The truth hurts doesn’t it!!!

        June 11, 2012 at 1:17 pm
    • EJ

      Rush is a theft & you are sugar coteing it

      March 10, 2013 at 5:24 pm
  • Brenda

    Know something…it fascinates me how people can take time out of their schedule. Get on the “social network”, or public web sites to “try” and make our church, or our Pastor/Man of God look bad.
    Well…I’ve got some free time on my hands. I’m going to take some time to comment on a few things, and “DEFEND” the “Character” of our Pastor and church. The Bible says: “TOUCH NOT MY ANOINTED AND DO MY PROPHET NO HARM”-(1CHRONICLES 16:22, PSALMS 105:15) Let me “correct” a few statements. The first one: Our Pastor teaches that Christianity is a “relationship” with Christ, and that we are to “act” Christ- like. The second statement: That’s how Jesus started out in life, but did you finish reading the story? What happened after He gave up His life, went to the grave, rose from the grave, and ascended back to heaven with God? He’s at the right hand of the Father. (Can I get an “amen” so far?) The third statement: Our Pastor is not supposed to be, he “is” the under Shepherd of the Inspiring Body of Christ Church- Amen again! The fourth statement: It’s God’s job to make sure the sheep lack nothing, not our Pastor. He’s the Shepherd, not the “Savior”. (In all of your getting, get an understanding-Proverbs4:7~ Ecclesiastes5:19 Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work–this is a gift of God.) From “God”, not the “Pastor”! Amen again! Our Pastor’s assignment is to “teach” the Word of God, not “perform” the acts of God. The fifth statement: There are a lot of things wrong with “everybody” walking this earth. Jesus was the only “perfect” Person to ever walk this earth. Perfection in our language is “maturity”. We don’t draw attention, our blessings, & gifts from God draw attention. You have to learn to appreciate, and be “mature” enough to handle God’s blessings. QUESTIONS: 1) God asks can He trust us with a blessing? 2) How can God trust us with the blessing of a “car”, when we have not learned to appreciate the “bus”? 3) How can God trust us with the blessing of a “house”, when we have not learned to appreciate the “apartment”? 4) How can God trust us with the blessing of $100,000, when we have not learned how to manage $10,000 wisely? Let us remember, the “enemy” also gives gifts. We even bless “ourselves”, that’s why there is so much debt. (Luke 16:10: “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest much. Luke 12:48:To whom much is given, much is required-From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Get the picture? Look at Job, one of the richest men in the Bible.
    I’m not a “Bible Scholar”, but I can back my statements with the WORD OF GOD-AMEN! To know Pastor Rush is to know his “heart”. People are so focused on the “material” that their losing focuses on the “spiritual”.
    As for the community, we’ve never heard any complaints.” We invest in, and for the “Kingdom of God”. We’re sure to get a return on that from God, Himself”. ~WE ARE PROUD OF OUR CHURCH, AND OUR PASTOR- TO GOD BE “ALL” THE GLORY~HALLALUJAH-AMEN- um… imagine that”! ~AT THIIISSS LEVEL~

    November 22, 2011 at 5:36 pm
  • Tabatha

    Why is it ok for the rappers and drug dealers to live a rich life but a man of God can’t. Yes the money that was used to build my church could have been used in many ways. But IBOC is God’s vision made a reality on this earth. Pastor is a great man of God. He DOES NOT teach us to bring people to IBOC THAT’S A LIE FROM HELL So what if he has 6 cars what does that have to do with you. God give us life abundately. WE don’t serve a POOR God. If you want 6 cars tell God but be ready for the task you would have to go through before you receive them. Most is given most is required. My Pastor is a true man of God he isn’t perfect no one is. You better keep your mouth of God’s man and God’s children for you will cause trouble to come upon your life. I have been a faithful member since 1994 I love my church and my pastor the gift from God to the body of Christ. If you looking for a perfect church you need to stay home because will don’t find one. Look to God through Jesus Christ and kill all the negative talking. Spend your energy letting your light for Glory of God. Pray, Protective and Love the body of Christ.

    December 7, 2011 at 7:17 pm
  • ByGrace

    OK but, but as a steward of Gods money, Shouldn’t brother Rush have managed that 40Million to actually help the community and provided for the lost and needing souls, set up programs through the church to manage that money outreach……57,000 gallon aquarium…..40 million dollar building…………this is why we Christians are viewed as a joke and the church as a buisness and the Pastors as con men and “snake oil sales men” I am sure glad we are not living in the old testament times, where Gods punishment was swift and just. I will continue to pray for men like Pastor Rush and the many others who have gone sooooo far from what Gods plan of what the church is really supposed to do.

    December 8, 2011 at 10:21 am
    • Godscreation1963

      Are you helping to do anything in the community?

      January 21, 2012 at 12:04 pm
  • Wow! Is what I have to say, for those who don’t know, it years for Pastor Rush to make a choice to move into what ever home he now lives in, it’s amazing how fast we are to jump on the negative, and ignore the positive, and most of us on here will call ourselves Christians, look how fast we through stones, and judge from just speculation, is this what your pastor preach/teach? Is this what Christ is teaching telling us to do when we study, instead of talking down about Pastor Rush or any other Pastor, Bishop, Minister, etc, perhaps we should pray for them, and ask God to forgive us for doing his Job, the last time I checked these where men, so they make mistakes, I have to much of my on that God is holding me accountable for, to worry about mistakes of my or any other Pastor.
    Cult! Students of the word are what the members of IBOC are.

    December 9, 2011 at 12:30 am
  • Brenda

    There are “millions” of churches in the country that are larger, and probably more elaborate than ours. Why is it, that everyone wants to put their mouth on “one” in particular individual? OUR PASTOR! FOR ALL OF YOU THAT WANT TO SPEAK ON WHAT’S BEING DONE FOR THE COMMUNITY…WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? Last I remember, $10.00 can help the community, or any amount for that matter. Community consist of “more” than one person. HAVE YOU OFFERED TO DO “ANYTHING FOR ANYBODY”? STOP TRYING TO DO GOD’S JOB? “STOP JUDGING, AND CRITICIZING WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW. Remember, Jesus started with a little, God blessed it, increased it, AND HE FED THE MULTITUDES. I got a question: “DID JESUS BLESS EVERYONE HE SAW, OR CROSSED PATHS WITH, FINANCIALLY? DID HE GIVE THEM HOUSES? PAY THEIR BILLS? I’m glad we not living in the “old testament” times too…”TOUCH NOT MY ANOINTED AND DO MY(GOD’S MAN) PROPHET NO HARM”! For the record…Our Pastor can’t be “judged” by other peoples actions, or no other individual for that matter. Ask God to give “understanding” of the unknown concerning His Word. I PROMISE HE WILL…FREE!!

    December 12, 2011 at 3:02 pm
  • I need to comment after all of this reading, although I found it difficult to digest it all. I am a CURRENT member of IBOC and I love it! GOD is in the church. God is in Pastor Rush. All this talk about where he lives and what he drives and has.. well, read the points below about Job, Salomon’s temple, etc., they were well covered.

    Ya’ll do not KNOW Pastor OBVIOUSLY! You MUST NOT know about all the great things he DOES DO for his community!!! Anyway, as far as the money stuff, Pastor Rush IS a LAWYER, does have BOOKS, was a TEACHER!!!! He has his OWN thing going that makes him money and was given to him by GOD! I’m no “blind follower”, I pray for God to guide my walk and lead me in ALL THINGS! IBOC has been part of Dallas as long as I can remember! When the church was in a SHACK people came and were fed GOD’S WORD, and they continue to get fed GOD’S WORD even today in a $40 million dollar “shack”.

    My community is not RICH, our children may NEVER see a sight such as our church… THEY DESERVE TO SEE THE BEAUTY GOD CAN PROVIDE! I’d rather my children look up to a pastor than these movie stars and musicians! They NEED to see that GOD can provide these things to CHRISTIANS TOO!

    God said he would give us the desires of our heart, but says SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD! Pastor SEEKS the will of GOD above all, so why would GOD exclude PASTOR from having the DESIRES of HIS HEART!? His desire was to bring this beautiful structure to the heart of O.C (Oak Cliff). Pastor was raised rough and has a story like us all.

    Growing up poor, I can imagine that like us ALL, he wanted the nice house and cars too! I DO! MY KIDS DO! Am I UNGODLY!!!??? ARE YOU? Of course NOT! We just want nice things too! You do what pastor has done… YOU put in the time and effort and struggles… THEN ASK GOD FOR YOUR DESIRES!!!! (I bet you will have cars and homes and businesses TOO!) And probably some outlandish cool thing that you always said you wanted… He is a MAN like ME, like YOU. He has more than ME and probably YOU, because he has DONE MORE!!!!

    I have changed from the feeding I received there, my family has changed as a result of the spiritual feeding as well. I see it for my self, 1 on 1!

    May God Bless You and keep you. I pray for truth to be revealed, and wounds to be healed. IN JESUS NAME, AMEN!

    January 2, 2012 at 12:09 am
    • Since Buckner

      Count the cost. $2.5 Million to build the tank, $100 Thousand in fish, A SALARIED $Full-time marine biologist, Thousands of dollars in yearly fish food and cleaning cost, and THE MONTHLY ELECTRIC BILL to keep the tank operating 24 hours, 365 days per year?????

      Do the math…Unbelievable misue of tithes, offerings, scriptures and the trust of God’s people.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:49 pm
      • Whatitdo3245

        Since Buckner…I’m glad my tithes and offerings are going towards the upkeep of the tank/church since I know what it represents(life), and I have been overflowing with blessings as a result! My tithes and offerings are in good hands with IBOC. Its great knowing that I contributed towards something so great that represents God and his children. Its so refreshing to know that I can see where my tithes and offerings are going and am very pleased with the results. Your post just reassured me that my tithes and offerings are in good hands!

        July 15, 2012 at 2:17 pm
        • joey

          How many thousands could have been feed or even housed….for what it cost for some to see a pretty sight once a week? You people are all blinded by pride. “Oh? cloth the naked? feed the hungry? help the widow? no…we did do any of that with the gifts you gave us….but we built a big giant building in you name”, “No…it’s not a housing complex….we use it once or twice a week”

          July 23, 2012 at 11:13 pm
    • joey

      Don’t worry, one day you’ll see you the truth
      Did Chirst come as a King….or a carpenter?…nuf said

      July 23, 2012 at 11:06 pm
    • omg

      he is not a lawyer hes a retired school teacher

      September 13, 2012 at 7:45 pm
  • Bluenova

    Wow, what an amazing church. I pastor a church in North Carolina and have been thinking about an aquarium when we build our new sanctuary. What Pastor Rush has built is a beautfiful representation of the glory of God’s kingdom. He is an inspiration to me!

    January 3, 2012 at 10:25 am
    • Godscreation1963

      Thank you for your comment. We love and respect our Man Of God. We love what God is doing through him, as he teaches us how to live “prosperous” lives. TO GOD BE ALL THE GLORY! Enjoy your blessings.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:50 pm
  • G.A.B.

    I think this is awesome, a thing of beauty, wonder, and inspiration, and just divine in every sense of the word.

    Few would say a regular aquarium is a waste of money. They would say it was a community resource with vast scientific, educational, environmental, and cultural potential. Why is an aquarium in a church community any different? The next Jacques Cousteau or Eugenie Clark could be seven years old and singing in that choir.

    If critics believe the best way ( or only moral way) to spend money is by feeding the poor, that’s fine. It’s a worthy cause. But they should raise money and go do that, or just go do something useful, instead of dictating to others with different callings.

    Human beings need to support one another. We should celebrate the accomplishments of others instead of trying to diminish those accomplishments just to make ourselves feel better for being lazy. I don’t care if you are President of the US or bake the best cookies in the whole bake sale. We all have something good to offer if we can just get on the same side and do the hard work.

    April 21, 2012 at 10:55 pm
    • ijs

      this church cant raise anymore money cause its all going to the tank if they did that then ppl would leave and he definitely cant afford that

      September 13, 2012 at 9:21 pm
  • Tina

    I am a christian an I LOVE helping people..I am a single mom with 5 children on Easter spent what money I had to make food bags to feed around 40/50 people with about $100.00 I try really hard not to judge but when I see a church spent 40,000,000 on this its really hard not to think what could of been done with this money!! A $1000 tank would be great and not to think on what they spend daily to keep a on sight marine biologist…I’ll stick with my small church where we take everything we have and help our community and missionary trips that we do.. I guess even christians get their priorities mixed up!!

    April 23, 2012 at 12:41 pm
    • Tina, I’m not sure how much is too much either. And I totally understand where you’re coming from. (Remember, I don’t represent the church at all). Recall the story: Martha broke open a year’s salary worth of perfume on Jesus’s feet and He loved it (and the disciples complained).

      I’m glad that IBOC helps the poor and has outreach programs — and ultimately points to God’s glory. That’s what it’s all about!

      April 23, 2012 at 3:23 pm
      • Socializedhealth

        Baloney Mark. Shame on you for comparing such ludicrous excess to Martha’s tender expression of appreciation to the Living Christ.

        June 3, 2012 at 12:10 am
        • ThetruthAD

          So what about Solomons Temple…David left him in the range of 25 billion dollars worth of gold for the temple. No one is saying Solomon should have given that gold to the people. This church and every church on earth is no where near the cost of what it took to build the Temple. And that was just for the Jews. This man built a church for people to be saved no matter who they are. If he had bad intentions we will never know unless he or God tells us. Speculation is usually not a good thing to put your trust in.

          June 6, 2012 at 1:55 pm
          • Me

            So you follow all of the old testement?

            June 21, 2012 at 8:07 pm
      • Since Buckner

        Count the cost. $2.5 Million to build the tank, $100 Thousand in fish, A SALARIED $Full-time marine biologist, Thousands of dollars in yearly fish food and cleaning cost, and THE MONTHLY ELECTRIC BILL to keep the tank operating 24 hours, 365 days per year?????

        Do the math…Unbelievable misue of tithes, offerings, scriptures and the trust of God’s people.

        Mark, there are no outreach programs.Just thought you should know.

        July 15, 2012 at 12:51 pm
        • Brenda


          July 17, 2012 at 8:31 pm
        • ijs

          I had not been at the church as long as since buckner but everything they are saying is absolutely right…. no outreach

          September 13, 2012 at 9:19 pm
  • Mangagraphix

    I’m sorry, but that place is a testament to greed and vanity. By building a monument to that you have built a monument to sin.

    April 24, 2012 at 10:43 pm
  • Shadow

    You people make me sick. $40,000,000.00, (yes, with all the zeros so you can see what wasteful children you are) on a house of hatred? Think of all the good that money could have done! Think of the waste of endless money and time as you people pay to maintain that monstrosity! At least THINK! Something none of you are clearly doing on your own! If you want to inspire children, teach them the joys of learning. Show them how school can be fun and books (not ONE book, books in the plural) can be a refuge for the mind and a garden for the imagination! Teach your children to love, and not bully. Teach children that everybody has something to offer… and not to be vain and have something to lord over others. If you want to show children beauty… donate to museums, the arts, theater and culture! Then petition to the schools for field trips! Petition the government for better school programs!

    Is there anything lazier than spending a whole day in an extravagant building thinking about how nice it would be if things changed? Is there anything more selfish than making that building 40,000 times more expensive than one month’s rent for a tiny, low end two bedroom apartment?

    For the record: I work full time. I’m in school as much as I can be. Why? I want to be a teacher, so I can better the world. between rent and bills, I’m broke. But I learned as a child doing service projects through GSA that time can be just as valuable as money. I donate several hours a week to charity as a sacrifice to those who mean everything to me. Don’t you dare sit in your $40,000,000.00 fish tank and say you’re better than me.

    April 25, 2012 at 12:17 am
  • @Shadow, you raise some interesting points. Thank you! I (the author of this blog) figure I should post again to let you know that I don’t have ANY direct attachment to this church. I just wrote a communications blog about them.

    I applaud you for your choices. A teacher is a noble profession and I wish you well. Be a servant to those you come in contact.

    As I’m learning in life, there are few unbiased sources (not media, not school, not blogs) — be careful when criticizing something that you know very little about. It seems that you could use this money better than you perceive the church to be using it. And maybe you could! But then someone would look at you and say they could use the money better.

    This church (who raised the money privately) put a lot of thought into “serving” their community; they have more than one book (but they believe, as I do, that one Book has THE Truth). They don’t spend the whole day in a country club environment — they have outreach programs to help people who need it in their community.

    Are they doing everything right? Probably not.

    Did they spend too much money? Yep. Probably. But the congregation wanted a building that attracted. That demonstrated God’s love (the aquarium shows how we can all get along; like fish from all around the world).

    I wish you well — I hope that you consider the teachings of Christ (he was an amazing teacher-model); and please don’t throw out the Message of hope, peace, love with the Aquarium water 🙂 Have a great day — I’m praying for you right now!

    April 25, 2012 at 9:09 am
  • Chris

    I am sure Jesus would ahev spent $40,000,000 on a building rather than feeding and housing the poor.

    April 25, 2012 at 7:25 pm
    • I don’t know. But I know that everything He did was to bring glory to Him.

      April 25, 2012 at 8:07 pm
  • Tigger23

    That is all that needs to be said good job! Nobody can argue that Jesus would have spent all that money on a fish tank. That was Gods money and this pastor wasted it on this fish tank its sad.

    April 28, 2012 at 4:41 pm
  • Penny Wisdom

    This is just disgusting. Like many others, the money spent on this could have been spent more wisely had it been spent elsewhere…including McDonald’s in my opinion. That money should have been put into public schools to fund this country’s science and technology programs — a place which would actually do some good. Another good way for it to have been spent would have been to give it to the poor, who actually need it.

    As one previous comment author had stated, this place is just one of many testaments to human greed. If I remember correctly, one of the basic tenets of Christianity is kindness and compassion, but this place reeks of corruption and contempt. How about spending that money on medical programs for impoverished areas and save lives now instead of “saving” lives for an afterlife that may not even exist?

    Let’s not forget the words of one of this nation’s Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin, who once wrote that “Lighthouses are more helpful than churches.”

    April 29, 2012 at 1:43 am
  • God

    A waste in every way, build a hospital.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:30 am
    • Wow. I’ve never had God post before (but often, I have people who think they are 🙂 I appreciate your comments. Something to think about:

      Perhaps God see this as a Spiritual Hospital.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:47 am
      • proud member of iboc

        Actually Pastor Rush does do everything in God’s name. Before you bash him get to know him. Everybody is talking about this big tank. What if that was a vision from God to save someone else’s life.  What if that aquarium is a one true sign to someone who lost it all in the blink of an eye and was forces to leave their state and came to Dallas and the one thing that they had to leave behind was their huge aquarium.  The aquarium that the individual looked at often to relieve of the worries in their mind.  What if that tank was built to minister to someone who knew nothing about pastor rush but was drawn to his gift from God to reach people. My life was changed when I moved to dallas, dramastically. But it has been a great change since I became a member of IBOC. Companies like facebook, google, yahoo, twitter, etc. makes billions of dollars a year by offering free services, so everybody thinks, yet no one have a problem about how they spend they money. Yet a pastor who is responsible for a lot of people turning their life to Christ, has to use his money how the public thinks he should use his money.  Pastor Rush teaches growth.  A few years back I was broke, yet I’m soon to be a billionaire, and listen to God through pastor rush and being obedient and paying my tithes an offerings is what got me hear. Broke people are broke because they choose to be. I know because I was broke an about homeless, yet I chose to conquer it.  I am a woman of God and no one will be able to tell me how to spend my money.  My tank may cost 10 million but it’s ok because it’s my money and no one can tell me how to spend it.  And guess what, I continue to pay my tithes and offerings.

        December 19, 2012 at 5:36 pm
        • Pattie from Michigan

          I admire what you said why do people think the pastor shouldn’t be blessed. He is the man of God that tells a person how to be blessed. Being poor is a state of mind, some people like it. Anyway he is to teach salvation and the word the rest is up to us we have to go get our own blessing.

          October 2, 2013 at 4:59 pm
    • Christopher Balous

      He is building a hospital right now! No insurance required, just pay & go! Along with a high school. Eat your words…

      July 15, 2013 at 6:09 pm
  • Derica Booker

    If you’re a “christian” then what’s so hard to understand. There is nothing wrong with having the best because has blesses us to have the best. Stop being so judmentmental and critical of what his has done for this church. if you feed children for Easter that’s wonderful but don’t become envious because nobody is recognizing what you are doing. Plus if it’s from the heart then you don’t have to brodcast what you do for others!

    May 19, 2012 at 10:41 pm
  • Diemsea

    I’ve never been to this church, and reading the comments it seems like this church is just a cult in disguise. Everyone praises this Pastor Rush for all the good he’s doing, yet I’ve not seen a single mention about how God is directly moving. A church prospering isn’t a bad thing, but when money is utilized in inappropriate ways, it tear at His heart. Yall obviously have some wires crossed, and I’m sure when this pastor stands in front of God and boasts of his fish tank and thousands of followers, God will tell him ‘I guess they’re following you into hell’.

    May 25, 2012 at 10:49 pm
    • EJ

      Speak, Glory!!!!!!

      March 10, 2013 at 5:29 pm
  • Guest

    They will know we are Chrisians by our love…no our big oppulent buildings and wasteful decorations! I don’t care how much “motivation flows” out of Pastor Rickie…this waste is just plain wrong. Shame of the Church of Rickie!

    June 3, 2012 at 12:28 am
  • A man who loves Jesus

    Takes money to MAKE money……We are a “Vegas” minded lot and “Go big or Go home” rings true in most cases. Don’t you people recall the Crystal Cathedral ? No one wants to go to a boring church. Entertain someone and the purse will FLY open. Ricky does not steal his money…..People GIVE it to him. He’s a “Rockstar” with groupies to prove it. For the record though, I can think of worse things to do with money. At least he causes people to think about God and remind people he DOES exist and waits for us all……When we reach our end.

    June 3, 2012 at 1:29 am
  • ThetruthAD

    If this man wanted to build a 40,000,000 church he has every bibical right to do so. I’m not God so i can’t say that God didn’t tell him to do it. Do you remember how lavish Solomons Temple was… no one is saying why did Solomn build such a huge and lavish temple for God a big box would have been just the same. He feeds the poor, gives to charity, and built a church in the “hood” where the kids that would have robbed you can go and have the opportunity to change their lives. And be exposed to another life outside of the dark streets they walk.

    June 5, 2012 at 4:33 pm
    • Thank you for this “voice of reason”!

      June 5, 2012 at 4:58 pm
  • JudahZion

    So it’s ok for us to live in million dollar homes, but we tell God “it’s ok for his presence to live in a shack?” make no mistake people, Jesus was very wealthy. His ministry was completely funded at his birth. those 3 kings we sing about on christmas?! Try 300 kings bringing the wealth of their kingdoms to lay at his feet. Jesus was surrounded by a Doctor(luke) tax Collectors (matthew) and some of the most successful fisherman of that time Peter – Andrew. Oh and he wore a “seamless” garment, comparable to a modern day 3 piece Armani Suit…….I say if it’s for God, Spare no expense. He’s the King!

    June 9, 2012 at 11:17 pm
  • Paarkerhouse

    my God does not take attendance or charge admission. He is in the lillies of the valley.

    June 10, 2012 at 1:35 pm
  • Fayero

    I have read all the comments posted about this church building. There are valid points on both sides of the issue. I can not comment about the pastor because I do not know him. I do believe he is a Christian. Several have made comparisons of the IBOC building and Solomon’s building of the temple. What everyone has failed to see is when Solomon built his temple under God’s direction the people were all doing well. Everyone had enough. They shared, they loved and they believed. Not everyone in the IBOC’s area is doing well. For that reason, the building of this extravagance goes against biblical principle. One can justify anything using scripture, usually out of context. The building of this church is extravagant and the money could have been used to help others for a very long time. IBOC could have built a very nice church with five million and used the rest to help the community and still draw others to Christ. The building represents, to me, pride with a touch of greed thrown in and a lack of humility. We are commanded to be humble, serve others, spread the gospel and make disciples of the nations. However, what is done is done. We should now do as Paul said to the Philippians, forget the past and strive toward the future.

    God bless…

    June 11, 2012 at 11:19 am
    • JC

      Well put… And when Jesus came, that changed EVERYTHING. Focus on helping the poor and others was much more visible when Jesus began his ministry.

      September 9, 2012 at 11:06 pm
  • Jmw777

    I saw this featured on “Tanked” while it is very elaborate and beautiful, does a church really need this??? If you claim to be a member of this church then you must be a hipocrate. I have seen many people abuse their tax exempt status quite a bit I am sure this is another.

    June 11, 2012 at 11:45 am
  • Lucky

    Just saw the episode on tanked. $40,000,000 could of built a neighborhood n church fa the whole congregation with little household tanks fa all!!! Then they could b their own marine biologist!!!

    June 24, 2012 at 11:01 am
  • Since Buckner

    From a 20 year member of IBOC(since Buckner):

    The church itself had no voice in determining whether the tank was built or not. It was the vision of our pastor..yet the vision was never written down…it was told to us.

    We did not discuss, how much it cost to build the church building, the tank or its yearly maintenance, it was never written down and presented to us and voted for or against as a congregation..we did not count the cost…it was told to us.

    We have no idea how much money our Pastor makes per year, his RGR business venture, nor do we know how much money the church brings in per year…and we cannot ask.

    We do not have a say-so pertaining to how the tithes and offerings are spent, not as individual members and not as a congregation..we are told, by our Pastor what we are going to do with the church’s money…and we cannot question him.

    There is no growth in our church that can be accounted for by documented measures, recorded goals and tangible results. And by the way, we have no assistance programs for our members, nor community outreach programs or clothing banks for the poor, elderly, widows, orphans or the needy.

    Our Pastor has convinced us and many others outside of the church, that what he has done, and is doing, is to bring God Glory..yet our Pastor’s name adorns our church’s cafeteria, walls, and streets.

    All responses to any criticism of our Pastor, his financial lifestyle or the way or church operates has been taught to us over the course of years and through an endless amount of sermons..and we all respond the same way, with the same scriptures, justifications and quotes…we believe what we have been told.

    We have been taught and indoctrinated that Satan can use anybody’s mouth and actions to bring down our Man of God.

    But we cannot and will not acknowledge, conceive, or concede that Satan can use or influence our Pastor and Man of God.

    June 26, 2012 at 6:05 pm
    • ijs

      Is he married? just thought id ask since you went there so long

      September 13, 2012 at 9:44 pm
    • Servant

       If you are so against the teachings, Why are you still there? Why have you been a 20 year member? Is it because the Word is going forth? Are you applying the word to your daily life so you too can prosper. I have to disagree with you Since Buckner, your statements are false and inaccurate. The price of the church and the aquarium where discussed with the Leadership Team. That Team consists of members that use to be sit in the pews every Sunday. But we stepped up and made the choice to serve in the ministry. Now you know on any given day at any service you can ask for the price of the building, tanks etc… In addition, our Pastor has mentioned in multiple times the cost of the building and the aquariums. Please look around if and when you come to church and you can see how tithes and offerings are being spent. Also, our church helps our members and people in the community. You don’t know that because we do not broadcast it on Channel 8 for everyone to see. Since Buckner, if God gives our Pastor a vision, we will not see it as it was given to our Pastor the Shepard of the flock. When God spoke t Moses, it was directly to Moses. When God speaks to you or any of us it’s one on one. Please check yourself and your motives. And please stop (if you are) sitting in the sanctuary every Sunday and Monday stabbing the Man of God in the back.

      Be Blessed.

      February 22, 2013 at 5:39 pm
  • Buckner 1990

    Last Sunday, was my last day as an IBOC member. Not because I was a blind-follower, not because of the fish tank, not because Pastor Rush did something to me, or said something I didn’t like or agree with.

    But I could no longer ignore and deny that fact that my Pastor, whom I love dearly, had become the millionaire, mega-church, luxury car-driving, mansion-living, book-selling, celebrity-seeking, self-glorifying leader…..he himself had warned me about, way back when our small church was on Buckner.

    June 26, 2012 at 8:16 pm
    • Sis Toni

      I am a new member of IBOC but not a new BELIEVER. I was not drawn to the fish aquariums or the building. My mother is a member and invited me to come and listen to the Word that was being taught because of the situation I was going through at the time which happened to be at a smaller church. I attended a Monday Night school and was amazed at how the HOLY SPIRIT spoke through this anointed Man of God. Pastor Rush did not know me from Mary but told me everything I was going through and the ways Satan was attacking me, through the message God had given him to teach. Not only that, he then gave me(us) the words to take to God in prayer. I have yet to have a private one on one conversation with him. I attended only Monday school for a year and then decided to join. After that I started attending Sunday services. I have been there a little over 2yrs now. My focus is not a building or fish but how to build a stronger relationship with CHRIST who will then guide me into WHAT HE WANTS ME TO DO IN HIS KINGDOM and I am being taught how to do just that. I pay my tithes because the Holy Spirit and scripture teaches me to do so. Do I care where the money goes? NO. If I see someone in need or on the corner asking for a dollar I GIVE TO THEM because God will make sure I have that to give with plenty left over. I don’t know if I’m entertaining an angel or not. My life is changing because of the WORD not Pastor Rush. Although I do thank him for letting God use him as a vessel to help those who are truly seeking God. For me, I am happy to see Men and Women of God prosper and live the abundant life no matter what level it is. That’s what Jesus came to give. It’s not easy going to God praying in the Spirit for people who slander and scandalize your name, spitefully use you or out right lie about you. But if you truly know God and have a REAL relationship with Him then you know this is something YOU HAVE to do before you can ask for anything on your own behalf. It’s more than a notion. Jesus said I ASSURE YOU THAT EVERYONE WHO HAS GIVEN UP HOUSE OR BROTHERS OR SISTERS OR MOTHER OR FATHER OR CHILDREN OR PROPERTY, FOR MY SAKE AND FOR THE SAKE OF THE GOOD NEWS,WILL RECEIVE NOW IN RETURN A HUNDRED TIMES AS MANY HOUSES, BROTHERS, SISTERS, MOTHERS, CHILDREN,AND PROPERTY—‘ALONG WITH PERSECUTION’. AND IN THE WORLD TO COME THAT PERSON WILL HAVE ETERNAL LIFE. MARK 10:29-30. Pastor Rush has been preaching 42 years..Do any of you know what all he has given up?

      Like Reply

      July 9, 2012 at 8:16 am
      • Brenda


        always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the
        battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not
        necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead
        successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right
        place at the right time.(New Living Translation) Then, THERE’S THE KING JAMES VERSION- I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the
        swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor
        yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but
        time and chance happeneth to them all.

        July 17, 2012 at 8:49 pm
    • Brenda


      July 17, 2012 at 8:29 pm
      • joey

        sorry no. not a prophet. I missed the book about the prophet that drove the golden chariot…what chapter/vs was that?

        July 23, 2012 at 11:16 pm
      • Oh wow, I can’t believe you are pulling out that verse to shut down any criticism of your pastor. Pul-lease.
        I don’t know your pastor, I’m sure he’s a great guy on a lot of levels. But the leaders I know that are worth their weight in salt are guys that would never allow anyone to quote fear mongering verses like this at people who dare to criticize or question them. Honest criticism is not something you should condemn people for like this. If your pastor is a real man of God, I’m sure he can handle it and your job is to love people, not bash them over the head with the most silencing condemning Bible verse you can think of to sling around to people you don’t agree with.

        October 13, 2012 at 2:39 am
      • Christopher Balous

        Awesome! Go iboc!

        July 15, 2013 at 5:40 pm
    • Henderson_tonya1977

      If you were there when he first began then you know there was a struggle.  It seems that since you couldn’t grow, you didn’t want to see your pastor grow. Is it because you never allowed your spirit to grow. I don’t know what pastor rush does, it’s his business, all I know that in the 4 years I’ve been a member, I’ve been growing every since.  Why is it that our pastor that we claim to love is the only one who shouldn’t experience growth.  Sml

      December 19, 2012 at 5:04 pm
  • What?1?

    website still says under construction, except the giving section. does he really own 6 cars?n

    July 5, 2012 at 1:04 am
    • cjm

      yes but a couple were given to them an two of them belong to his wife and child

      September 13, 2012 at 7:31 pm
  • Since Buckner

    For my Christian Brothers and Sisters:

    Persecution for JESUS’ SAKE and Persecution for Church Financial Decisions, are two different things all together.

    As long as the African-American church, gives their tithes/offerings and don’t care where the monies are spent…the appropriation of tithes and offering will always miss the target of its intended scriptual purpose.

    a truly COMPLETE study on tithes would show-that tithes are time, talents, and goods. in biblical times, they would leave one tenth of their crops in the fields for the WIDOWS and ORPHANS and POOR.

    From my Jewish Brothers and Sisters:
    As for money- if you read torah, you would learn that you are not to work, shop etc. on shabbat, you are not to carry money with you. So, that means no money to churches. Yeshua- Christians know him as Jesus, never collected money to spread the gospel- his disciples never did either. spreading the news is verbal. You don’t need money, books, or buildings to do it.

    What the churches today are doing is building up empires of their own.

    If tithes and offerings are so important to the church,
    why didn’t Jesus collect them when he was teaching in the synagogues and streets?

    Study to shew thine self approved

    July 11, 2012 at 12:42 pm
    • Sis Toni

      pedigrees or in quarrels and fights about obedience to Jewish laws.
      These things are useless and a waste of time. If people are causing
      divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have
      nothing more to do with them. For people like that have turned away
      from the truth, and their own sins condemn them. Titus 3:9-11.

      July 11, 2012 at 4:35 pm
    • Christopher Balous

      Really? What Bible have you been reading?….

      July 15, 2013 at 5:46 pm
  • sandy

    How make the fish tank?

    July 14, 2012 at 7:13 pm
  • Since Buckner

    Count the cost. $2.5 Million to build the tank, $100 Thousand in fish, A SALARIED $Full-time marine biologist, Thousands of dollars in yearly fish food and cleaning cost, and THE MONTHLY ELECTRIC BILL to keep the tank operating 24 hours, 365 days per year?????

    Do the math…Unbelievable misue of tithes, offerings, scriptures and the trust of God’s people.

    July 15, 2012 at 12:47 pm
  • thop

    If i was in Texas I would go to that church, but I have heard that a lot of atheletes and celebirties go there thats why its probably no problem to have that. and it draws in hundreds of people a month to join the church and accept christ as their personal savior, so you have to look pass the money for the aquarium as long as they are doing things for the community.its absolutely beautiful.

    July 22, 2012 at 8:47 am
    • cjm

      celebs and athetes visit they have had some to join but the financial pressures became overwhelming

      September 13, 2012 at 7:28 pm
  • joe christian

    and we wonder why the world is starving….

    July 23, 2012 at 10:58 pm
  • somerandomthought

    Funny thing is yeah, 40 million could feed a lot of people. Perhaps Pastor Rush is doing just that by feeding the Word of God and teaching them how to fish for themselves. Perhaps what you see in this tank and large church is the result of a lot of people who learned how to fish, literally and spritually, and continue to eat that Food of the Spirit. Perhaps it grows because people are drawn to the table. Children who cannot afford the Dallas Aquarium can come to church and see every fish that would normally be separated swimming harmoniously. Children who go to the school of the same church and children who don’t can go to one place with family and share in the same meal. It’s okay if it strikes many as odd. This is not the church for you if you can come in and see waste and greed instead of a place of worship. That’s fine. The good thing is God provides many places to dine on His Word. Keep it moving.

    August 3, 2012 at 12:50 pm
    • Christopher Balous

      Awesome! Go Iboc!

      July 15, 2013 at 6:07 pm
  • Troy

    I saw this on “Tanked” and a Google search led me to this page. In reading the commentary, I see several Christians feeling negative emotions. If you are among those, I may suggest a course of action that could be as simple as:
    “I pray for the Lord to fill this Pastor with the Holy Spirit and guide him to His will.”
    For me, I didn’t really have emotions about it one way or the other, so I just pray that all of those who come into contact with this “spectacular” monument be touched by the word of God and follow our Savior, Jesus Christ. 🙂

    August 5, 2012 at 1:52 pm
  • MZMee

    I too agree this was not the smartest choice with the use of money. It’s a DECORATIVE piece, not something useful for the ministry. Even if this ministry could afford this purchase, was it something that would truly benefit the ministry? That’s no different than me buying 3000.00 custom curtains for my house just because I could afford it, when that money could go to build the business I’ve wanted to build. Then the other issue is this is not a ONE TIME purchase. This is a design that requires ONGOING money to keep up. It’s not just a painting. I just hope that there isn’t ONE person in his congregation who is suffering financially because the money he spent on that could have been split amongst the poor and struggling people in his congregation to help them get on their feet. I am trying not to be too judgemental because I don’t now the “rest of the story”. I don’t know how this pastor is helping his flock behind the scenes or what every dime is going to. I just know that I hope the day doesn’t come that this church will face money problems because the first thing people will look at is that tank.

    Nobody is saying that when you come into wealth that you can’t spend your money on things you can afford. I mean when I started making 6 figures, I did spend money on things that I couldn’t afford before such as painting my house, tile floors, granite counter tops, etc. But guess what…those things were NEEDED (my house was a foreclosure and needed rehab). But I spent wisely. I got the lowest possible bids, I chose products on sale, and hired church members to install it all to bless them. I COULD HAVE afforded something much more expensive…but why? I would randomly bless people with money and give my servers at restaurants 50.00+ tips as the Lord directed me. It’s ok to spend, but ask yourself the real PURPOSE for what you are buying.

    The church’s motto says PURPOSE. So I ask the pastor…what PURPOSE does this tank serve other than a piece of art to look at???????

    August 5, 2012 at 7:50 pm
    • JC

      That’s wisdom… I couldn’t agree more.

      September 9, 2012 at 10:30 pm
    • cjm

      i went to this church for years and there are people who attend whom are struggling financialayy they take the city bus and walk to church faithfully they beleive in the “vision

      September 13, 2012 at 7:26 pm
    • Christopher Balous

      Why don’t you go & ask him for yourself?

      July 15, 2013 at 6:12 pm
  • TEAM IBOC!!!!

    my children goes to iboc in its the best school ever!!!!!!!!

    August 31, 2012 at 3:34 am
  • Chisna

    In my town the church spends just about every penny on those in need. And the pastor felt guilty when he had to spend money to replace the roof. But hey, if you think all that glitter and glam impresses God more than helping feed and clothe the poor. You go right ahead and do that. But in my opinion any church that chooses to walk that path, should also be taxed.

    September 7, 2012 at 4:17 pm
    • Mark MacDonald

      Then the question is: how much glitter and glam to warrant taxation? God loves when His people lavish in His name (all through the Bible) — but yes, we need to give to the poor and widows too!

      September 7, 2012 at 5:18 pm
    • Christopher Balous

      How can you critically think that Iboc is not doing those things? Why don’t you see for yourself & not be a mouth for the devil. Always get your facts before you BELIEVE YOUR FICTION.

      July 15, 2013 at 5:29 pm
      • Christ

        Believe our fiction? Lol the Hypocrisy, coming from someone who believes a fictitious book written by MEN in which you entire religion is based upon… Doesn’t only apply to Christianity, but all religions/sects…

        March 4, 2014 at 1:01 am
      • Laura Dienstbier Thomas

        Does the church have a food pantry?

        March 31, 2014 at 5:11 am
  • JC

    I’ve been to the church as a visitor because Pastor Rush was
    doing my cousins funeral a few years ago. As a Christian coming in with the
    rest of my family, honestly I was kind of embarrassed. All of my family members
    who weren’t Christians couldn’t believe what they were seeing. I don’t really
    feel that there is a way to justify the kind of funds needed to 1st build this
    HUGE tank (also you should know that there are other tanks around the building)
    and also the upkeep and the need to have a Marine Biologist on staff full time
    care for the fish. I don’t think these are bad people. I believe they love
    Jesus from what I saw when I was there. But, I do think it was a poor decision
    and a poor example of stewardship with God’s money. I’m sure people have been
    fed, clothed, sheltered etc. in some sort of fashion. But the Bible says the
    poor will always be with us. And just because you helped some people, however
    many that may be, doesn’t mean that you waste millions on temporal things. As
    many people as this ministry has helped, there are many more that could have
    been helped with those funds. Here me…. I am not saying that they should have
    a dump for a Church Building, but there is a difference between nice building
    and living in excess. I’m sure there are plenty of people who have been blessed
    by this ministry. But, this is excessive….

    I for goodness sakes, PLEASE STOP misusing the “don’t judge”
    and “take the plank out of your own eye” scriptures as excuse to force people
    to not have opinions. Because if you’re a Christian, I’m certain that you are
    opinionated of right and wrong as well. We should be. That is why God gave us
    His Word.

    September 9, 2012 at 10:24 pm
  • ijs

    This church also has a children’s academy across the street from the building mentioned in this article. The teachers at the academy make minimum wage. Some have one or more children there for living in lack. The tank itself cost 40 million yet you have employees living in poverty. Not a good decision.

    September 13, 2012 at 8:00 pm
  • Nathan

    This is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard of. There’s children starving and dying of malnutrition around the world and you’ve built a giant fucking fish tank. And the only thing you heard in that last sentence is “fucking.” I’m sure God is pleased.

    October 22, 2012 at 10:25 am
  • Realspeaka

    Umm… I don’t know that pastor or anything but all I’m hearing is he could feed a lot of people with the money he spent on the church. But who are all of you to tell someone what they need to Do with their money. Instead of complaining about other people’s finances why don’t you all help feed the starving and clothe the homeless. You all expect only Christians to do it. Why don’t all of you stop worrying about the next person and just do what you need to do. You don’t complain about any of these other millionaires. If this man is not doing the will of God then it is not for us to comment on. He has to deal with God. You all bicker about how Christians judge people. But y’all are quick to jump down someone’s throat when it comes to their beliefs. Get over yourselves. Just love God and stop trying to justify everything

    May 3, 2013 at 10:18 am
  • Yall crazy as hell!

    If he paid for it out his own pocket & maintain it out his own pocket then its cool. But wait his own pocket is yalls pockets (tithers) yall betta get yall money back…lmao

    June 5, 2013 at 7:59 pm
  • jjhoutx

    Another example of Religion: The biggest BUSINESS ever created by man. So when Jesus comes back, will he be in a Rolls, Bentley, or a Maybach??

    June 6, 2013 at 1:59 pm
  • Ivette

    What a disgrace! How shameful! With so many homeless veterans that money could
    have helped you call yourself Godly, Wow do you realize how many hungry children you could have feed. I truly question what God are you serving in the church!!

    June 6, 2013 at 8:43 pm
  • iamblessed

    First of all, I do not attend Pastor Rush’s church but all I have to say is that when you have been given a vision, that’s your vision! Your congregation, family and friends will probably never see nor understand what God has given you. I don’t know Pastor Rush but I congratulate him in doin the work of our father. God tells us that people are gonna talk about us. I’m from Austin and I have an amazing pastor and the vision that God has given her is HUGE!!! I know people are gonna talk when it comes to pass but OUR GOD is good!!

    June 9, 2013 at 9:20 pm
  • Chris

    Only God can judge. ijs

    February 11, 2014 at 10:06 pm