Mid-South church responds to being banned from 2 college campuse - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mid-South church responds to being banned from 2 college campuses

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

A Mid-South church that's causing controversy on two college campuses wants to set the record straight.

The group says it has been banned at University of Memphis and Ole Miss--all because of vicious rumors on social media.

The World Mission Society Church of God began in South Korea in 1964. Church members consider it a Christian church that believes in God the mother and God the father. God the mother is the core of the church.

Milton Carr will never forget his daughter's experience with the World Mission Society Church of God which holds services on Saturday.

"They approached her in the library," Carr said. "They got to a point where they alienated her from her family. They would pick her up on Saturday morning early in the morning and return in the evening."

Carr's daughter was approached by a church member at the University of Memphis library 3.5 years ago when she was a freshman. The member gave her a flyer and invited her to a Bible study.

"It was like the perfect storm. She was looking for something," Carr said.

Carr said his daughter only went to the church for about 5 months. In that short time, he became concerned when he learned students at Ole Miss and University of Memphis accusing the church of kidnapping and human trafficking.

Those accusations are something the church, located in Southaven since 2009, vehemently denies.

"For people to make such a false and heinous allegation against us, it hurts very much. It also caused embarrassment to our brothers and sisters at the church," church member Nathan Gulcynski said.

Gulcynski wants to know why the church is now being banned from college campuses--because the church has been spreading its message for years.

"It's not because our message changed, it's because of false allegations on social media," he said.

Ole Miss senior Jake Miller is a member of the church and recruits college students to attend Bible study.

"I thought that it was absurd. The first thing that came through my mind, 'How can we prove this to be false,'" Miller said.

"I was quite disturbed many of my classmates have actually studied with the church and have volunteered," U of M senior and church member Sharkera Hawkins said.

Carr is glad his daughter is no longer a member.

"All I know is what they taught her separated her from her family," he said.

The church does volunteer. Members recently helped clean up Downtown Memphis, and they have received commendations from a city mayor--even one from the Queen of England.

The church is talking with campus police trying to get reinstated.

The church released a statement to WMC Action News 5:

The World Mission Society Church of God is a Christian church that has been spreading the gospel and love of God the Mother to over 175 countries of the world. This work has been recognized by many governments and agencies.  For example, in 2016, Queen Elizabeth II honored us with the Queen's Award for Volunteer Service. Likewise, in 2011, 2014, and 2015 the White House gave us the President's  Volunteer Service Award.

In furtherance of our calling to spread the Gospel, we have opened churches throughout the US, one of which is in Southaven, Mississippi.

Recently, we were made aware of a social media post in which someone appears to accuse the Church and its members of being linked to a ring of sex/human trafficking. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are a church of Christian love and denounce any such activities wherever they may be carried out.

Unfortunately, it appears they have not only falsely accused us, but also others have shared this erroneous information without verifying its accuracy. This has led the Church and the Church members to be religiously discriminated and Church activities to be disrupted. This is not only unfair, it has endangered innocent people  who are simply trying to worship God as their heart moves them. Our Church has been very active in the community since the year 2009 and have never experienced this type of treatment.

The accusation of “aggressive” recruitment is also inaccurate, and it is a result of the misinformation that has been spread through social media. Since the year 2009 we have carried our outreach activities the same way, inviting people to our bible seminars, bible studies, and community service activities, and we never received such an accusation.

We have contacted the local police department and have made them aware of what is going on.

The Police have assured us they will work with the Church to help resolve this matter, and they have also encouraged us to seek legal advice to determine if there are other remedies available. But frankly, our goal is simply for people to see the truth that the accusations are false, so we can all simply move on with our lives.

We should add that of course we understand that human/sex trafficking is real and that members of the public should be alerted about the dangers of this criminal activity. We intend to speak with local government officials and agencies that deal with this issue to see how we can work together to raise awareness about this matter. However, our Church and Its members in no way, shape or form have perpetrated these horrendous activities.

We would like to ask the public to please help us stop spreading this wrongful accusations, and help us stop the harassment our members are experiencing due to it.

Thank you for reading this and we encourage you to visit our Church and see for yourself that our organization is nothing like what is being said online.

For more information on the church please visit: http://watvintro.org/en/

Copyright 2018 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved. 

Powered by Frankly