Questions are being raised about a California pastor and failed Republican Party House candidate who jumped on the Trump train and saw revenue for ministry -- where he is the only employee -- jump from $280,000 in 2019 to more than $5.3 million in just one year allowing him to go on a property buying spree that primarily benefits only himself.
According to a report from Rolling Stone's Tim Dickinson and Kara Voght, 38-year-old Sean Feucht went from a little-known Christian singer and evangelist to a MAGA star by aligning himself with former president Donald Trump, thereby raising his profile to the point where he stood on the steps of the Supreme Court with far-right Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Lauren Boebert (R-CO) when a report was leaked that the Supreme Court would be gutting Roe V Wade.
Noting that Feucht was on the way up when he balked at crowd restrictions at his events during the Covid-19 pandemic, the report claims he has been cashing in in a big way although his financial filings aren't particularly clear where the cash is coming from.
Writing, "Feucht’s fusion of own-the-libs rhetoric and Christian zealotry is resonating," the report states, "Capitalizing on the notoriety of his 2020 Covid-lockdown protests, Sean Feucht Ministry Inc. ballooned in revenue from $280,000 in 2019 to more than $5.3 million in 2020, ending the year $4 million richer than it started. (The accounting for this surge is curious: The ministry claims to have received zero dollars in contributions, despite Feucht avidly soliciting such gifts.)"
With that money, the evangelical invested in several properties described by Rolling Stone as "extravagant homes, one in a glitzy gated community in Southern California and another on five acres in Montana, valued together at well over $2 million."
Add to that, he also "purchased a brick row house on Capitol Hill in May for nearly $1 million," which he has called Camp Elah which he reportedly will use as a basecamp while he meets with conservative lawmakers.
All of those purchases have not gone unnoticed by watchdogs and ethics experts who, while not accusing him of criminality, wonder how he came into so much money and question the ways in which he is spending it.
"Warren Cole Smith, president of Ministry Watch, which vets religious organizations on behalf of donors, says that leveraging a ministry to live the high life, if that’s what Feucht is doing, is not just unseemly, it’s potentially illegal, " with Smith pointing out, "I’m not saying that Sean is guilty of private inurement. But if a guy that makes less than $200,000 a year is buying multiple, million-dollar properties, at a minimum that warrants additional questions.”
Adding that calls to Feucht and his ministry's board members have been fruitless, the report adds, "Evangelicals have long hitched their fortunes to GOP political movements, most recently the Trump train. But Feucht is bold in his declaration that Christians, themselves, should seize the throttle of the nation’s politics."
Right-wing extremism expert Shawn Schwaller views that as a red flag.
“He wants to push a far-right Christian nationalist agenda. Whether it’s anti-LGBTQ rights,anti-vaccine, anti-Black Lives Matter, he’s aligning himself with the biggest voices pushing that agenda in Washington," he explained.
Religion expert Adam Perez, a postdoc at the Duke School of Divinity, has questions about his devotion to religion.
"Is this God’s work? Or is this the power of money — you know, the love of which is the root of all evil?” he asked rhetorically.
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