Former members of Word of Faith Fellowship hold community meeting

More than 100 people listened to stories of former Word of Faith Fellowship members on Saturday in Spindale. The former members consider themselves "survivors." (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

Former members of a controversial North Carolina church gathered in Spindale on Saturday for a community meeting.

More than 100 people listened to stories of former Word of Faith Fellowship members, who consider themselves "survivors."

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They left the Rutherford County-based church because they said they'd been physically and psychologically abused.

This gathering comes after a district attorney for three counties asked the state to investigate two of his assistant prosecutors for alleged involvement in coaching defendants as part of cases against Word of Faith Fellowship. Two days after he announced the request, DA David Learner released a statement saying those two prosecutors were no longer working for him.

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Those who spoke on Saturday said their parents were already members. So, as children, they had no choice to leave on their own.

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"I know that I was abused. I know that all, pretty much all that I was around were abused," John Cooper, a former church member, said. "So, my end game is to see kids out of that situation. I don't care how that happens, but I think that it needs to stop."

The format of Saturday's meeting eventually turned to a Q&A, with all questions written on pieces of paper.

There were current Word of Faith Fellowship members in the audience.

All questions not answered at Saturday's meeting can be found on John Huddle's blog.

Another meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 16, at 1 p.m. in the Isothermal College Library Auditorium.

It will include a presentation on recruiting techniques used by cults, followed by a question and answer session.

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