A controversial North Carolina church once accused of abusing its former members received a federal Paycheck Protection Program loan intended for small businesses, records show. The Word of Faith Fellowship obtained between $150,000 and $350,000 through the relief program meant to help small businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to The Charlotte Observer.
The Word of Faith Fellowship has long been plagued by disturbing allegations, including that members abused children. Past members have accused leaders of “beating the demons” out of congregants, including gay worshippers and operating a human pipeline that sent young Brazilians to work for ministers at the church in the small town of Spindale for little or no pay. In 2018, four members were also charged in an unemployment benefits scheme.