FBI raids Fayetteville church accused of operating as a cult, targeting military members

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Thursday, June 30, 2022
FBI raids House of Prayer Christian Church in Fayetteville
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Federal agents served a search warrant on the House of Prayer in Fayetteville on Hodge St. last Thursday, the FBI confirms.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- FBI agents raided a Fayetteville church on June 23; the church was among five places of worship accused of operating as a cult and targeting military families.

House of Prayer Christian Church is at the center of the FBI investigation, according to the agency. An FBI spokesperson told ABC11 that nobody was arrested in the raid and no further details would be released at this time about it.

However, allegations are swirling that the church is recruiting soldiers to siphon military pay into its coffers.

Veterans Education Success is an advocacy group that has reportedly worked closely with former church members.

"In some cases they actually target service members, coaching them on how to get out of the military with false medical claims--so that they can not only take advantage of their GI Bill, but also take advantage of their medical and disability compensation. It's pretty shocking stuff," Will Hubbard said. Hubbard is the Vice President for Veterans & Military Policy at Veterans Education Success.

The nonprofit group asked the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to investigate the allegations.

"Everything that we've seen indicates they operate well outside the scope of the law and in a lot of cases, very questionable manner--such that they're taking advantage of veterans, service members and in some cases not even allowing them to leave," Hubbard said.

House of Prayer Christian Church is located in a tiny neighborhood of Bragg Boulevard. Many of the homes surrounding it are owned by the church.

Residents living there but not associated with the church talked to ABC11 about the raid but did not choose to speak about the church or its activities.