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

SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC) - 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.

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