Members talk about church causing controversy in Sioux Falls

Local News

We’ve heard from several viewers on Tuesday with concerns about a church’s recruiting process. KELOLAND’s Dan Santella went to the meeting at the Sheraton Hotel in Sioux Falls and when introducing himself, said he was a journalist with KELO-TV. Shortly after his arrival, a hotel staff member asked him to leave, which he did. Dan then met two people who say they’re members of the group.

Richard Foust and Bezawit Girma both say they are members of the World Mission Society Church of God.

“The reason we’re here is because we want to share the good news about the second coming Christ and God the mother with everyone here in Sioux Falls,” Foust said.

They say their church has 30 members in Sioux Falls.

“When we go door to door, we’re just telling people the good news that you can receive eternal life by believing in God the father and God the mother, so the reason why we go door to door is to spread that message,” Girma said.

They also say the church will continue to have a presence here in the city.

“Our church will continue to keep service here on Tuesdays and Saturdays,” Girma said.

A Google search of the World Mission Society Church of God pulls up related searches of human trafficking. KELOLAND News asked both members about this.

“That’s actually why we also contacted you, because when we heard these allegations even being spread here in Sioux Falls, we were hurt,” Girma said. “And the reason why we were hurt is because all of these allegations that people have made, that our organization is involved in sinister acts like sex trafficking has been debunked by the police department, news agencies, and various government organizations.”

KELOLAND News also asked about the claim that the church is a cult.

“To be honest with you, I think that is the most absurd thing I have ever heard ever,” Girma said. “Because we have nothing to hide, as soon as you meet us, we’re very straight-up people. We will tell you the reason of talking to you, which is to show you about God the mother.”

Girma says around two members are staying in Sioux Falls. This is a story we will continue to follow.

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