FBI investigates ministry; local churches respond - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

East Alabama

FBI investigates ministry; local churches respond

March 6, 2009

By Chris Vessell bio | email

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - Hundreds of churches in Georgia and Alabama distribute food in conjunction with Angel Food Ministries. However, accusations of financial mismanagement has the FBI investigating a ministry whose mission is to provide food to families at a discounted price.

For hundreds of families, Angel Food Ministries have been an answered prayer, but a recent FBI raid at the group's headquarters brings uncertainty to the ministry's future.

"We have been in partnership with Angel food for a number of years and it has been such an incredible resource for our community," said Mark Jones, Pastor of Victory World Prayer Center. The church's congregation has been a distribution host for the ministry for more than three years.

"There are families that literally, their monthly budget depends on getting this box of food for their family," Jones said. For more than a decade, nationwide, families who have fallen on hard times have been able to bring home a box of food that they otherwise wouldn't be able to afford.

Jones says he's seen more people sign up for an Angel Food box since the economy has weakened. "We already are seeing people from the community come into the church and sign up for a box," Jones said. "And you know it's a pretty good deal. Thirty dollars buys you a box that has a value sometimes of nearly a hundred dollars," he added.

Despite the investigation, Pastor Jones says he doesn't see any reason for the church to stop using the ministry. "We have just taken a posture and position that we're going to keep using this ministry and this resource until we hear any further results from an investigation," the Pastor said.

The World Prayer Center is one out of 5000 host churches in 35 states that could be affected by the FBI investigation at the Angel Food Ministries headquarters. However, the pastor says for now food is still available for those who need it.

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