When I first started this podcast, I reported on a secretive church located in the foothills in western North Carolina called the Word of Faith Fellowship.
The church is accused of being a cult and separating families—forcing them to break ties with non-believers.
One teenager named Matthew Fenner pressed charges against five church ministers because he said they beat the gay demons out of him.
And that's just the beginning. Several former members reported being forced into isolation in what is known as the lower building. Some male congregants say they lived in this makeshift storage unit for over a year. But perhaps they're best remembered for their signature style of prayer. It's known as blasting. As you can hear in this secret audio recording, blasting is a form of deliverance meant to cast out the devil.
It has been said that crying babies were often held down and yelled at until the devil released its grip on the child. I've experienced blasting first hand. In 2018, I was personally invited by the church's leader,
Jane Whaley, to spend the day at the Word of Faith Fellowship. While interviewing her in her office, Jane Whaley looked me straight in the eyes, opened her mouth, and began shouting. It was terrifying. To this day, I still get chills.
It's been 2 years since I finished my 11-part series on the Word of Faith. Since then, I've been flooded with emails asking me to give them an update. They want to know, have there been any new allegations of abuse?
Have any of the church leaders faced any criminal charges? Is Jane Whaley still running the church? Today, I plan to answer some of these questions.
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Today's episode was written by Javier Leiva and edited by Logan Castrodale
Lotz International LLC v. Burnette:
Case against Facebook commenters moves to state court:
Former Word of Faith member charged with breaking into minister's home: https://wlos.com/news/local/former-world-of-faith-member-charged-with-breaking-into-ministers-home
Word of Faith member reaches plea deal in fraud scam:
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