Shady Fundraisers Vanish From City

KFDX3 News/April 27, 2004

A group from Dallas, that`s been collecting donations for several weeks at a Wichita Falls intersection, is suddenly gone today, after we aired a report on their background yesterday. The solicitors say they are not members of the Deeper Life Christian Church out of Florida, but the church is helping them find shelter and get their lives straight.

The church has attraced attention from media in several states and church members have faced charges of food stamp fraud and dealing in stolen property. The solicitation permit granted by the city shows the church is collecting money to help homeless families, but no one with the church could tell us exactly how much money they collect or where it goes.

Wichita Falls City Clerk Lydia Torres said she asked the police to keep a watch after numerous complaints the solicitators were walking in front of cars in the street, in violation of the permit. City clerkLlydia Torres says, "I have had numerous complaints from irate citizens who were concerned, citizens who felt like they were being harassed by them. So I contacted the police department to look into the situation."

A Florida newspaer describes the church as like a cult and says members are closley controled by the founding family.

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