Lt. Gov. Forest accepted donation from leader of controversial church

The Charlotte Observer/January 25, 2018

By Paul A. Specht

Campaign finance records show that Lt. Governor Dan Forest last year accepted a campaign donation from the leader of a controversial North Carolina church.

Forest, a socially conservative Republican, will likely seek the party nomination to run against Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper in 2020. Forest faced criticism from the N.C. Democratic Party last October for attending a July fundraiser with members of Word of Faith Fellowship in Spindale.

Word of Faith has come under scrutiny in recent months after 43 former members told the Associated Press that church members try to expel demons using “blasting” prayers where congregants were smacked, choked, punched and thrown to the floor. The AP has written a series of investigative stories on the church, which some former members have described as a cult.

The church has denied the accusations and said it doesn’t condone or allow abuse in any form. Five members face criminal charges for their alleged actions in a 2013 church service. A former member says they tried to beat the “homosexual demons” out of him.

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