Two churches in Georgia and a third in Texas, all three located close to US Army installations, were raided by federal law enforcement Thursday, KWTX reports. The criminal matter that led to the warrants’ execution was unclear, but each of the churches are said by multiple sources to be indoctrinating military personnel into a cult and separating them from their families.
The two Georgia churches, The House of Prayer Church in Hinesville, near the Fort Stewart and the Assembly of Prayer Church in Augusta, near Fort Gordon are affiliated with each other. Both have lengthy histories of complaints from former members and their families of cult-like practices, with one former member telling WTOC the Hinesville Church’s leader Rony Denis “made us merchandise. It’s no longer a church. It’s just a fraudulent, money-making empire. It used to be a church.”
The third church in Texas, the Assembly of Prayer Christian Church in Killeen, near Fort Hood, was accused in dozens of Facebook and Google reviews of being a “cult” and “recruiting Fort Hood soldiers.” The connection to the Georgia churches was unclear to KWTX, beyond sharing the “Assembly of Prayer” name with the Augusta Church. And that they got raided on the same day in different states. That obviously requires a high level of coordination by the FBI.