N4T Investigators: Faith Christian Church without home: UPDATE - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

N4T Investigators: Faith Christian Church without home: UPDATE

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TUCSON- Is it a culture of secrecy?

It's a News 4 Tucson Investigators follow up story about Tucson's Faith Christian Church. Several former members and parents of current members allege their religious practices border on deceptive and abusive. Now, some feel this church is being anything but transparent.

Thousands of new students move into the dorms at the University of Arizona, as the 2015 fall semester begins. For many, they're living away from their families for the first time.

"I was nervous I was scared I was hoping I would make friends," said Rachel Mullis, a U of A graduate. She may have been a freshman more than 20 years ago, but she says she remembers move in day like it was yesterday.

"I met all these really nice people, they're Christians just like I was," said Mullis. "They're fun they're helpful they helped me move all my things in they invite me to their welcome back barbeque and instantly I have 20 great friends in college."

Mullis says it was the day she was recruited by Faith Christian Church, who she says in the past had its members help freshmen move into the dorms.
"You hang out with those people you eat dinner with those people you do ministry things with those people," she added. Mullis said she was a member for ten years and described what may have started out as fun, exciting, new, turned into a process of the church micromanaging her entire life.

"It becomes more like pleasing the leadership or doing what the leadership says," she said.

Mullis remembers what one church member allegedly said to her while she was in college.

"Your parents aren't going to understand everything the way we do, if it's going to cause conflict with them, I just wouldn't tell them that," said Mullis.

The former Faith Christian Church member said communication with her parents was essentially cut off, as well as her friends outside of the church too.
"You just feel all alone, that's why it's really hard to leave there," said Mullis.

The general manager of the Tucson Marriott University Park confirmed with the N4T Investigators Faith Christian Church is holding its Sunday services at the hotel, however its lease is on a week to week basis.

Faith Christian Church used to hold services at Amphi High School, but the district launched an investigation into the church last spring. The district told the N4T Investigators they would not be releasing details of the investigation because it was a "legal issue." The district's legal counsel, Todd Jaeger, said they were informed by Faith Christian Church it was not renewing its lease when it expired this past June.

On the church's website, it says "service locations will vary for the next few months, contact the church office for this week's location."

We called and a voicemail played which did not tell us where they'd be holding service, but said leave a message. Our calls were not returned.
The University Religious Council at the U of A revoked the membership of Faith Christian Church and its three student organizations, citing issues of "integrity" and "student safety." This information was handed out to new students and their parents over the summer.

"I had a really hard time going to church after that really hard time reading the Bible," said Mullis.

As a new crop of freshmen enter college, Mullis can't help but worry about potential new members of the church.

"It should be a red flag to you if it's secret," she said.

The U of A's Dean's Office placed Faith Christian Church's three student organizations on "monitoring status" which means employees of the university will be present at all of their events held on campus for the entire school year. The dean's office said all three groups are in good standing and did not violate the student code of conduct.

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