Former Word of Faith Member Pens Book

MCDOWELL COUNTY, N.C. -- A local man is detailing what he says it was like to be a member of a large, controversial mountain church.

Former Word of Faith Fellowship member John Huddle says that the church is a cult, which he escaped in 2008.

"Locked In" was released last week and gives Huddle's account of moving his family from South Carolina to Spindale to become a member of WOFF in 2002.

He says for the next six years church leaders used mind control and thought reform to keep he his family and other church members in line. Huddle also says that WOFF leaders created a list of 145 rules detailing what church members were not allowed to do. The list bans celebrating Christmas, wearing black tennis shoes, playing ping pong and drinking Cheerwine.

"When you're inside the group, you don't concentrate on what you're giving up, you concentrate on what you think you're gaining, which is a relationship with God and God's people and salvation," said Huddle. "A lot of the restraints are out of fear, fear that you will lose your family, fear that you will lose your job, fear that you will lose your house."

Huddle says he published "Locked In", which is for sale on Amazon, in order to offer guidance and hope to those in cults who are looking for a way out.

He says his daughter, son and now ex-wife remain members of the Word of Faith. According to Huddle, he is no longer allowed to see or speak to his children.