Judgment Day is fabulous for business.
Just ask Family Radio, the evangelical nonprofit that has plastered billboards and driven vans across the Bay Area and the world proclaiming the end of the world will be Saturday. The Oakland-based nonprofit has raised more than $100 million over the past seven years, according to tax returns. It owns 66 radio stations across the globe and was worth more than $72 million in 2009.
As The End nears, donations have spiked, a board member says, enabling Family Radio to spend millions of dollars on more than 5,000 billboards.
But it is not about money, say President Harold Camping and board member Tom Evans. It's about spreading the Gospel and saving as many people as possible.
What will the nonprofit do with the millions of dollars left in the bank Saturday?
"When Judgment Day comes, if someone is a billionaire, how will they take their money with them?" said Camping, 89, during a phone interview Tuesday. "If we have any money left, and we will because we have to pay bills up to the very end "... it will all be destroyed because the world will be in a day of judgment.
"The money is not important at all. It's a vehicle to spread the judgment and a vehicle of the Lord."
Camping, a Bible scholar and former civil engineer, founded the 24-hour evangelical broadcasting network in 1959. The station with offices on Hegenberger Road in Oakland reaches listeners around the world in 75 languages -- locally on 610 AM and at www.familyradio.com.