New Covenant Faith Church pastor released, not charged

The Pitch, Kansas City/January 6, 2010

Jackson County Sheriff's deputies seized guns, money and computers from the Independence's New Covenant Faith Church (also known as the House of Prayer) during a Monday night raid. They also arrested someone for violating the Federal Firearms Act. That person was pastor Lloyd Sartain, but he was reportedly released without being charged.

Authorities say the investigation is open and ongoing and the search of Sartain's home is expected to continue. And KMBC channel 9 reports that authorities are looking to talk with anyone if information about "child abuse, misconduct or inappropriate use of church funds" during the last 20 to 30 years at New Covenant.

Sartain told KMBC that he didn't know what the raid was all about. And his defense attorney, John Carnes, told KSHB channel 41, "It's political, that's what it is.

But one former church member told Fox 4 that her family left the church which she said was more like a "cult." Lindsay Schaeffle claimed that Sartain controlled church members' lives and practiced "corporal punishment" at the church's school.

"You didn't do anything there without his permission, whether it came to going and getting a cell phone or anything like that," Schaeffle said. "I had to ask him."

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