- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 3, 2010

LAKE FOREST, Calif. (AP) — Evangelical pastor Rick Warren says his call for donations to fill a $900,000 deficit at his Southern California megachurch has brought in $2.4 million.

Warren announced the sum to cheers at a Saturday service, and said the total includes only money brought in person to Saddleback Church by New Year’s Eve.

Warren called the donations “amazing” and says the church will start the new decade with a surplus.

Warren made an appeal to members on the church’s Web site Wednesday, asking for donations to overcome a collections shortage.

Warren delivered the invocation at the inauguration of President Barack Obama and is the author of numerous books, including the best-selling “The Purpose Driven Life.”

He founded Saddleback Church in 1980 in Lake Forest, about 65 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

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