"Hope for Kids"

"INTERNATIONAL CHURCH OF CHRIST (ICC) runs HOPE Worldwide, Inc. HOPE for Kids is part of HOPE Worldwide"

September 1999
By a resident of Charlotte, NC

I visited a church back in 1992. At the time I welcomed the new friends that were my age and not ashamed to share openly about God. They were in their 20s. As a matter of fact, I do not remember anyone over his or her early 30s. I already had a church I was devoted to, but I enjoyed the many activities this church offered. I just want the company. They wanted me as a member and nothing else.

It did not take me long to see they had hidden motives. I was lucky. My sister was also attending the church at the same time. She was soon going to graduate with a degree in Religion. Her main objective for attending the church was for research for her schoolwork. Needless to say...the church was very ODD and we left. My sister renounced them and was "black-balled" by the church. The members were told to NOT have ANY contact with her.

It has been about 7 years since then. I had almost forgotten about the church. I actually thought the church would not make it and fizzle. Then I started volunteering for a local organization, HOPE for Kids. I began spending more time around the other volunteers in HOPE for Kids and soon felt like I was a "loner". Everyone seemed to know each other, but I only knew one person, a co-worker who invited me to help with HOPE for Kids. I soon began to feel strange around these people. But I did not feel uncomfortable--at least not yet.

HOPE for Kids had a rally downtown one weekend and I attended along with other co-workers from my office. Only one co-worker was originally involved with HOPE before I volunteered, he just invited everyone in our office out to this rally. At the rally I started putting the pieces together. I saw people I had met at the CHARLOTTE CHURCH OF CHRIST back in 1992. I soon found out that the church is now simply called the CHARLOTTE CHURCH. And this is where the fun begins!

The CHARLOTTE CHURCH is part of the INTERNATIONAL CHURCH OF CHRIST (ICC). ICC started and runs HOPE Worldwide, inc. HOPE for Kids, which is part of HOPE Worldwide.

The CHARLOTTE CHURCH met in a hotel conference room back in 1992, they now meet at Spirit Square.

The one person at my office who apparently was involved with this church, has since brought in 3 other church members and helped them get hired at my office. That's cool. I can deal with that. I CANNOT deal with the fact that now my co-workers who are not part of the CHARLOTTE CHRUCH are being heavily recruited into joining? I have seen 2 co-workers become members already. I would usually admire the fact that my co-workers are becoming more involved in a church, but NOT THIS church.

There are many churches and religions in the world. There are also cults. Expressing your religious beliefs is a constitutional right. Controlling someone else's beliefs is NOT.

Young adults are being preyed upon. Usually colleges are targeted for recruitment, but anyone who is out of high school and still single is a likely target for recruitment.

My reason for concern is that once this church recruits you, they try to pull you away from family and friends.

The very fact that they have hidden motives is cause for alarm for me. When you are first recruited, if you are not invited to church, you are invited to a social event. Yet they do not tell you that at the volley ball game--you will be the only non-church member. They then hit you up for your phone number and so begin the weekly calls to check in with you. They become your very best friends. Honestly. They will have you believing that they would do anything for you, but only if you agree to go places with them--like church.


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