word of faith fellowship

Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A member of a secretive North Carolina church will enter a plea on a federal fraud charge as part of an investigation into an unemployment scheme benefiting businesses with ties to the congregation, according to court documents.

Diane McKinny is scheduled for a plea hearing Friday in Asheville on a federal charge of making a fraudulent claim for unemployment benefits, according to a court filing this week.

Associated Press

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A minister at a secretive church in North Carolina has been sentenced to 34 months in prison and ordered to pay $466,960 in restitution for his role in an unemployment fraud scheme involving businesses owned by members of the congregation.

Associated Press

A leader of a secretive evangelical congregation has persuaded a magistrate to issue trespassing charges against a North Carolina state Senate candidate who brought supporters and a TV crew along to a scheduled meeting at the church.

A father and son who belong to a secretive evangelical church in the foothills of North Carolina pleaded guilty Friday to federal criminal charges in an unemployment benefits scheme that former congregants have said was part of a plan to keep money flowing into the church.

Chris Seward; News & Observer of Raleigh

A likely Republican candidate for governor in 2020 accepted a campaign contribution from the leader of the controversial Word of Faith Fellowship in Spindale, the News & Observer reports.  The paper says campaign finance reports show Lt. Governor Dan Forest accepted $100 contributions from six Word of Faith pastors, including leader Jane Whaley.

AP

SPINDALE, North Carolina (AP) — Former members of an evangelical North Carolina church say their leader coerced congregants into filing false unemployment claims after the faltering economy threatened weekly tithes from church-affiliated companies. The members say company owners who were leaders in the Word of Faith Fellowship church would file unemployment claims on employees' behalf, but that the employees would continue working.

AP PHOTO/ALEX SANZ

SPINDALE, N.C. (AP) — When Andre Oliveira answered the call to leave his Word of Faith Fellowship congregation in Brazil to move to the mother church in North Carolina at the age of 18, his passport and money were confiscated by church leaders — for safekeeping, he said he was told.

A judge held a juror in contempt and declared a mistrial Tuesday in the case of a North Carolina church minister charged in the beating a congregant who says he was attacked to expel his "homosexual demons."

AP Photo

 

SPINDALE, N.C. (AP) — From all over the world, they flocked to this tiny town in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, lured by promises of inner peace and eternal life. What many found instead: years of terror — waged in the name of the Lord.

Congregants of the Word of Faith Fellowship were regularly punched, smacked, choked, slammed to the floor or thrown through walls in a violent form of deliverance meant to "purify" sinners by beating out devils, 43 former members told The Associated Press in separate, exclusive interviews.