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Ex-members of church urge overturning of court agreement

AP Photo/Uncredited SPINDALE, North Carolina (AP) — Former members of a controversial North Carolina-based church want the state to take legal action to overturn a court-ordered compromise they say has crippled child abuse investigations involving the sect. The former congregants of Word of Faith Fellowship also want Rutherford County child protection agency director John Carroll to resign, saying he pushed for the 2005 settlement and has failed to protect children from abusive practices inside the church. The ex-members said they are sending letters urging … Read the referenced story here: Ex-members…

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Ex-members say church uses power, lies to keep grip on kids

AP Photo/Chuck Burton SPINDALE, North Carolina (AP) — As a court-appointed advocate for two foster boys, it was Nancy Burnette’s job to ensure they were in good hands. So as part of her casework, she visited Word of Faith Fellowship, the evangelical church they attended with the couple seeking to adopt them. What happened next haunts her: In the middle of the service, the chanting and singing suddenly stopped, Burnette said, and the fiery pastor pointed at Burnette, accusing her of being “wicked.” ”You … Read the referenced story here: Ex-members…

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Investigators face big hurdles in church child abuse cases

AP Photo/Chuck Burton SPINDALE, North Carolina (AP) — When Rutherford County’s child protection agency seeks to investigate allegations of abuse at Word of Faith Fellowship, it runs smack into two major obstacles: a habitual lack of cooperation from church members and a court-ordered compromise that limits what can trigger an inquiry and how social workers can question minors. Word of Faith has been investigated numerous times over the course of decades without serious consequences, in large part because church leader Jane Whaley orders congregants … Read the referenced story here: Investigators…

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Barbeque hauls in donations for church shooting victims

ADKINS, Texas (AP) — The line of cars already stretched for miles before noon when Gage Laubach and his two friends approached a tiny church outside San Antonio where they heard a barbecue was being held to raise money for victims of last weekend’s mass shooting at a church in the nearby town of Sutherland Springs. The trio marveled at the steady stream of cars still coming in early Saturday evening, hours after the Smokin’ Angles BBQ Ministry opened its doors at Saint Mark’s Lutheran … Read the referenced story here:…

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