Project Fair Play

Reports by Americans United to the IRS

Americans United continually monitors electioneering by churches and religious organizations receiving tax exemptions. AU has filed the following violations to the IRS.
     
  • Church in the Valley Leakey, TX, Oct. 23, 2012
    • The pastor put a message on the church’s marquee reading, ““VOTE FOR THE MORMON, NOT THE MUSLIM! THE CAPITALIST, NOT THE COMMUNIST!”
  • Hope Christian Church Beltsville, MD, Oct. 17, 2012
    • During Oct. 7 services, the church’s pastor told the congregation not to vote for Barack Obama. He also endorsed a candidate for U.S. Congress. Pastor said he knew he was breaking the law. The church was participating in “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” sponsored by the Alliance Defending Freedom.
  • Ridgway Christian Center/Praise Him Ministries Ridgway, Colo., Sept. 19, 2012
    • Church and ministry produced and mailed magazine to people in Colorado that urged residents to “Honor God! Love your country! VOTE REPUBLICAN!”
  • St. Raphael Catholic Church El Paso, Texas, Sept. 10, 2012
    • Church inserted a statement into its official bulletin advising parishioners to vote against President Barack Obama.
  • Church of Saint Catherine of Siena New York, NY, Sept. 7, 2012
    • Church ran a column in its official bulletin urging parishioners to support Mitt Romney for president.
  • Missouri Baptist Convention Jefferson City, Mo., August 23, 2012
    • Director of public policy for the state affiliate of a religious denomination endorsed two candidates for public office in an official publication of the denomination.
  • Dove World Outreach Center Gainesville, Fla., June 20, 2012
    • Church erected gallows on its property and hung an effigy of President Barack Obama from it. Also produced video attacking the president and solicited votes for another candidate on its website.
  • Providence Road Baptist Church Maiden, N.C., May 23, 2012
    • Pastor gave a sermon critical of gays during which he urged congregants to vote against President Barack Obama.
  • Hager Hill Freewill Baptist Church Hager Hill, Ky., May 21, 2012
    • Pastor gave a sermon attacking President Barack Obama for his stand on same-sex marriage. Discussed the election and said he wanted to see Obama “out.”
  • Diocese of Peoria Peoria, Ill., April 19, 2012
    • Bishops gave a homily comparing President Obama to Hitler and Stalin. Urged listeners not to vote for anyone who hold these views.
  • First Baptist Church Dallas, Texas, October 11, 2011
    • Church pastor posted videos of himself endorsing presidential candidate Rick Perry on the church’s website.
  • Bellevue Baptist Church Cordova, Tenn., Sept. 29, 2011
    • Church linked to a political group on its website that endorsed three candidates in a Memphis city council election. A special message on the church’s website directed people to the endorsements.
  • Tom Brown Ministries El Paso, Texas, July 12, 2011
    • Ministry leader announced plans to launch campaign to recall mayor and two members of the city council.
  • New Life Christian Fellowship Titusville, Fla., Nov. 22, 2010
    • Church pastor endorsed school board incumbent and city council candidate during church services Oct. 31. Admitted he might “get in trouble” for doing it.
  • Greater New Birth Church Milwaukee, Wisc., Nov. 4, 2010
    • Church hosted rally for Democratic gubernatorial candidate days before election. Pastor introduced candidate as “our future governor.”
  • Sun City Christian Center Wimauma, Fla., Oct. 28, 2010
    • Pastor announced during Sunday services that he had prepared a list of Republican candidates that he intended to vote for and urged people to pick up copies of the list in the back of the church.
  • Berean Bible Baptist Church Hastings, Minn., Oct. 18, 2010
    • Pastor endorsed Republican gubernatorial candidate from the pulpit, as well as several other GOP candidates. Said he was aware it was against the law but did it anyway. Also distributed list of candidates endorsed by church.
  • Brown Memorial Baptist Church Brooklyn, NY, Oct. 7, 2010
    • Pastor allowed Democratic gubernatorial candidate to speak from pulpit during Sunday services. Candidate was introduced by another politician who attacked candidate’s opponent and urged vote for candidate. Pastor later endorsed candidate from pulpit.
  • Cornerstone World Outreach Sioux City, Iowa, Sept. 30, 2010
    • Church created special project designed to defeat three state supreme court judges who were on the ballot in a retention election. Church attempted to draft other churches into the scheme.
  • Fairview Baptist Church Edmond, Okla., Sept. 28, 2010
    • Pastor endorsed gubernatorial candidate from the pulpit during Sunday services. Pastor did this knowing it was a violation as part of the ADF’s “Pulpit Freedom Sunday.”
  • Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ Edmond, Okla., July 21, 2010
    • Tax-exempt group issued an e-mail urging people to attend a rally for Oklahoma House of Representatives candidate Sally Kern. E-mail contained information about why Kern should be reelected.
  • Liberty Baptist Tabernacle Rapid City, S.D., June 10, 2010
    • Pastor endorsed gubernatorial candidate after candidate called on pastors to endorse him during services. Candidate later issued a press release lauding pastor’s endorsement and quoting pastor. Pastor claimed he was not accountable to the IRS.
  • Oasis Church Los Angeles, Calif., May 18, 2010
    • Church used a Twitter account to endorse and urge votes for one of its members who was seeking a seat on a neighborhood city council.
  • Crossroads Christian Church: Newburgh, Ind., April 27, 2010
    • Pastor issued letter of endorsement for congressional candidate.
  • Dove World Outreach Center: Gainesville, Fla., March 26, 2010; supplemental filing, April 8, 2010
    • The church posted a sign on its property reading “No homo Mayor,” a reference to a mayoral candidate in a run-off election who is gay. The church also produced a series of videos attacking the candidate, which is posted on its website and on YouTube.
  • Liberty University: Lynchburg, Va., Feb. 22, 2010
    • University officials used student newspaper and other publications to promote Republican candidate for House of Delegates.
  • Bethel Village AME Church: Harrisburg, Pa., Nov. 4, 2009
    • Church invited mayoral candidate to speak from the pulpit during Sunday services. The pastor lauded her accomplishments and referred to her as “the next mayor of the city of Harrisburg.”
  • Fifth Street Baptist Church: Richmond, Va., June 8, 2009
    • Church invited Democratic gubernatorial candidate to speak during services. Pastor told congregation, “Brian is right on guns. He’s right on affirmative action. He’s right on taxes. He’s right on jobs. I’m not telling you who to vote for. I’m just telling you who I’m voting for. I’m voting for Brian Moran.”
  • Liberty University: Lynchburg, Va., May 27, 2009
    • Evangelical college revoked official recognition of Democratic student club while allowing Republican club to continue.
  • General Baptist State Convention: Raleigh, N.C., Oct. 30, 2008
    • Religious group hosted Michelle Obama for what appeared to be a campaign rally. Obama praised her husband and said he would be “an extraordinary president.”
  • Diocese of Paterson: Paterson, N.J., Oct. 22, 2008
    • Roman Catholic bishop ran column in diocesan newspaper and on church website comparing Barack Obama to the biblical king Herod Antipas (who beheaded John the Baptist) and asserting that “the present democratic candidate” would sign pro-choice legislation if elected. Implied that people should not use their vote to support such candidates.
  • Rock Christian Fellowship: Espanola, N.M., Oct. 22, 2008
    • Church posted two photos on the side of its building – an aborted fetus with the name of three Democratic candidates under it and a healthy baby with the names of three Republican candidates under it. Below were the words “YOU DECIDE.”
  • Word of Outreach Christian Center: Little Rock, AR October 2008
    • Bishop Robert Smith told the congregation, “I will be voting for John McCain and Sarah Palin.”
  • Diocese of Paterson, N.J.: Paterson, NJ October 2008
    • Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli published a letter in the diocesan newspaper and on its Web site attacking Barack Obama over legal abortion and comparing him to the ancient king who ordered the beheading of John the Baptist.
  • Rock Christian Fellowship: Espanola, NM October 2008
    • Church posted large photos on its building of an aborted fetus and a healthy baby. The names of Democratic candidate names appeared under the former and Republican candidates under the latter along with the words “YOU WILL DECIDE.”
  • General Baptist State Convention: Raleigh, NC October 2008
    • Religious body hosted what appeared to be a rally for presidential candidate Barack Obama, featuring his wife, Michelle Obama. During the speech, Ms. Obama promoted her husband’s candidacy.
  • Bethlehem Baptist Church: Bethlehem, GA September 2008
    • Pastor Jody Hice urged his congregation to vote for Sen. John McCain and to not vote for Sen. Barack Obama. On a tape recording of the sermon, Hice is heard saying, “When you enter the voting booth I want to urge you not to vote for Barack Obama” and “McCain…that’s who I’m going to be voting for, and I urge you to do the same.”
  • Fairview Baptist Church: Edmond, OK September 2008
    • Pastor Paul Blair told his congregation that as a Christian and as an American citizen, he would be voting for John McCain.
  • Warroad Community Church: Warroad, MN September 2008
    • Speaking from the pulpit, Pastor Gus Booth said, “We need to vote for the most righteous of candidates. And it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure that out. The most righteous is John McCain.”
  • New Life Church: West Bend, WI September 2008
    • Pastor Luke Emrich said from the pulpit, “I’m telling you straight up I would choose life. I would cast a vote for John McCain and Sarah Palin.”
  • First Southern Baptist Church: Buena Park, CA September 2008
    • The Rev. Wiley Drake said from the pulpit, “According to my Bible and in my opinion, there is no way in the world a Christian can vote for Barack Hussein Obama. Mr. Obama is not standing up for anything that is tradition in America.”
  • Calvary Chapel on the King’s Highway: Philadelphia, PA September 2008
    • The Rev. Francis Pultro told his congregation, “As Christians, it’s clear we should vote for John McCain. He is the only candidate I believe a Christian can vote for.”
  • Trinity Baptist Church: Yukon, OK September 2008
    • Pastor Dan Fisher endorsed John McCain from the pulpit and then issued a press release trumpeting the move.
  • Cornerstone Church: Madison, TN August 2008
    • Pastor endorsed three school board candidates, all of whom were members of his church, from the pulpit, after acknowledging that such endorsements are not permitted.
  • Atlah World Missionary Church: New York, NY August 2008
    • Pastor delivered a number of sermons attacking Barack Obama. Many were posted on church website. Specifically told congregants not to vote for Obama.
  • Warroad Community Church: Warroad, MN June 2008
    • Pastor gave sermon asserting that no Christian could vote for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. He then sent an e-mail to Americans United announcing that he had delivered this sermon and sent a newspaper article about it.
  • Christian Businessmen’s Connection: Tacoma, WA May 2008
    • Group hosted Republican gubernatorial candidate. During a prayer for him, the president of the group noted that there were fund-raising envelopes for the candidate and urged people to use them.
  • Brotherhood for a New Destiny (BOND): Los Angeles, CA April 2008
    • Director of non-profit religious group (and church) issued press release on organization letterhead endorsing Mitt Romney for president. Also posted release on Web site.
  • Grace Community Church: Houston, TX March 2008
    • Minister used church resources to issue letter endorsing congressional candidate.
  • Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ: Las Vegas, NV January 2008
    • Minister allowed presidential candidate Barack Obama to speak during services shortly before the state caucuses. The minister called for Obama’s election, remarking, “The more he speaks, the more he wins my confidence and…if the polls were open today, I would cast my vote for this senator.” He added, “If you can’t support your own, you’re never going to get anywhere….I want to see this man in office.”
  • Harlem Road United Methodist Church: Galena, OH January 2008
    • Church’s senior pastor endorsed a Republican candidate for county commissioner on church letterhead. The letter was featured on the candidate’s website.
  • WallBuilders Presentations: Aledo, TX January 2008
    • Produced and distributed voter guide encouraging readers to vote for Mike Huckabee.
  • American Family Association: Tupelo, MS January 2008
    • Produced and distributed voter guide encouraging readers to vote for Mike Huckabee
  • Liberty University: Lynchburg, VA December 2007
    • Jerry Falwell Jr., chancellor of Liberty University, issued an e-mail bulletin on university letterhead endorsing Mike Huckabee for president.
  • Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church: Memphis, TN October 2007
    • Ministers endorsed Democratic candidates for mayor during church services just days before the election.
  • Greater Community Temple Church of God in Christ: Memphis, TN October 2007
    • Minister endorsed Democratic candidates for mayor during church services just days before the election.
  • Trinity Church and Christian Center: Memphis, TN October 2007
    • Minister endorsed Democratic candidates for mayor during church services just days before the election.
  • First Southern Baptist Church: Buena Park, CA August 2007
    • Endorsed candidate Mike Huckabee on church letterhead and church-based radio show.
  • St. John AME Church: Niagara Falls, NY July 2007
    • Church held fund-raiser for a Democratic member of the Niagara County Legislature who was seeking reelection. The event was listed in the church bulletin and promoted among other local churches.
  • Diocese of Providence: Providence, RI June 2007
    • Bishop Thomas J. Tobin wrote a column in the diocesan newspaper attacking Republican presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani for his views on abortion. He called Giulinai’s stand “pathetic,” “confusing” and “hypocritical” and compared him to Pontius Pilate.
  • Bill Keller Ministries/liveprayer.com: St. Petersburg, FL May 2007
    • Head of ministry wrote “devotional” on Web site asserting that voting for Mitt Romney is the same as voting for Satan.
  • Temple of Deliverance: Memphis, TN November 2006
    • Church allowed Democratic candidate for Senate to hold rally with Democratic leaders and officeholders.
  • Sioux City Baptist Church: Sioux City, IA November 2006
    • Church distributed biased voter guides produced by the Christian Coalition.
  • Bethel AME Church: Cambridge, MD November 2006
    • Church hosted rally for Democratic gubernatorial candidate and other Democrats.
  • Lakeview Assembly of God: Hot Springs, AR November 2006
    • Church allowed Republican gubernatorial candidate to speak during services. Ran newspaper ad promoting the event.
  • Mount Ennon Baptist Church: Clinton, MD November 2006
    • Pastor attacked Republican senatorial candidate from the pulpit while his Democratic opponent sat in the front row.
  • Spirit One Christian Center: Wichita, KS November 2006
    • Church put up marquee signs attacking Democratic candidates for gonvernor and attorney general.
  • Light of the World Christian Center: Topeka, KS October 2006
    • Church donated money to firm owned by Republican candidate for attorney general.
  • Living Word Christian Center: Brooklyn Park, MN October 2006
    • Pastor endorsed Republican congressional candidate from the pulpit then let her speak to the congregation.
  • Bethel AME Church: Baltimore, MD October 2006
    • Pastor collected money for Republican gubernatorial candidate in church. Demanded that ten parishioners give $100 and then handed the money to the candidate, who then spoke to the congregation.
  • Calvary Temple Church: Kerrville, TX July 2006
    • Church donated $1,500 to the Kerr County Republican Party over a space of three years.
  • East Waynesville Baptist Church: Waynesville, NC May 2005
    • Church pastor endorsed George W. Bush from the pulpit prior to the November 2004 election. He later expelled nine Democrats from the church because they voted for John Kerry.
  • Bride of Christ Church: Bellwood, PA November 2004
    • Church ran ad in local newspaper announcing that it would transport voters to the polls “in support of President George W. Bush.”
  • Friendship Missionary Baptist Church: Miami, FL October 2004
    • Church hosted Democratic rally featuring presidential candidate John F. Kerry, Al Sharpton and others. Pastor introduced Kerry as “the next president of the United States” and said God had ordained him to run.
  • Mount Airy Church of God In Christ: Philadelphia, PA October 2004
    • Sen. Edward M. Kennedy spoke on John Kerry’s behalf during morning services. The church’s pastor followed Kennedy at the podium and said, “I can’t tell you who to vote for, but I can tell you what my mamma told me last week: Stay out the Bushes.”
  • Allen Temple African Methodist Episcopal Church: Cincinnati, OH October 2004
    • Democratic Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards appeared during services. Edwards gave an eight-minute speech and then was endorsed by the church’s pastor. “I’m not worried about the law,” the pastor said. Referring to Edwards, he added, “I’m asking you to support him.” He also added his belief that Edwards would one day be president.
  • New Birth Baptist Church: Miami, FL August 2004
    • Church hosted a rally for the Democratic Party featuring speeches by Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, former Democratic presidential candidate Al Sharpton and other Democrats.
  • Jerry Falwell Ministries: Lynchburg, VA July 2004
    • Falwell sent an e-mail from his ministry endorsing George W. Bush for president and urging supporters to give money to a Republican PAC.
  • First Baptist Church: Springdale, AR July 2004
    • Pastor gave sermon bemoaning the fact that not enough evangelicals supported George W. Bush in 2000. He then went on to compare Bush to John F. Kerry, distorting Kerry’s positions to make Bush look like the more appealing candidate.
  • Faith Baptist Church: Waterford, MI June 2004
    • Pastor issued letter on church letterhead endorsing two school board candidates and attacking incumbents. One of the candidates endorsed was the pastor’s son; the other was a member of the church.
  • Diocese of Colorado Springs: Colorado Springs, CO May 2004
    • Bishop released pastoral letter ordering atholics not to vote for candidates who are pro-choice, pro-stem cell research or pro-euthanasia.
  • Charles Street AME Church: Boston, MA April 2004
    • Pastor endorsed John Kerry from the pulpit, referring to him as “the next president of the United States.”
  • Westover Hills Church of Christ: Austin, TX March 2004
    • Church allowed GOP PAC to hold fund-raiser in sanctuary. Republican candidates sought votes, collected money.
  • First African Methodist Episcopal Church: Los Angeles, CA September 2003
    • Former President Bill Clinton called on parishioners to vote against a recall of Gov. Gray Davis. Davis also appealed for votes. Pastor urged members to reject recall.
  • Virginia Family Foundation: Richmond, VA June 2003
    • Religious non-profit group issued biased “report card” on members of the General Assembly. Rated officeholders with a plus or minus sign on several “pro-family” issues. Guide was issued to affect outcomes in primary election.
  • From the Heart Church Ministries: Temple Hills, MD November 2002
    • Church hosted pre-election appearance by Democrats seeking office. Pastor praised Democratic candidate for governor, telling the congregation, “If it sounds like I am endorsing, take it as you want to.”
  • Brentwood Baptist Church: Houston, TX November 2002
    • Pastor endorsed Democratic candidate for Senate two days before a general election. Pastor said, “Go up and down the ballot and vote your conscience, but in that race, vote for Ron Kirk.” Kirk also addressed the congregation and appealed for votes.
  • Santa Fe Archdiocese: Santa Fe, NM October 2002
    • Roman Catholic Archdiocese asked 92 parishes to disseminate a flier produced by an anti-abortion group that attacked Democratic gubernatorial candidate for being pro-choice.
  • New St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church: Detroit, MI August 2002
    • Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jennifer Granholm spoke from pulpit of church shortly before primary election. Church pastor endorsed her, telling the congregation, “We know who to vote for, don’t we?”
  • Heritage Baptist Temple: Lebanon, MT August 2002
    • Church posted a candidate sign for a member of the congregation who was running for the GOP nomination for the state House of Representatives.
  • Vineyard Christian Fellowship: El Cajon, CA March 2002
    • The church’s senior pastor introduced a city council candidate to the congregation during worship services and said he planned to vote for him. He allowed the candidate to address the congregation. Literature from the candidate’s campaign and yard signs were made available in the back of the church.
  • Mount Peace Baptist Church: Raleigh, NC March 2002
    • The church held a fund-raiser for John Baker, a candidate for Wake County sheriff. A letter signed by the pastor said, “Please help us continue our support of Sheriff Baker in his re-election efforts. All proceeds will be contributed to the Committee to re-elect Sheriff John H. Baker, Jr.”
  • St. Matthew African Methodist Episcopal Church: Raleigh, NC February 2002
    • A candidate for Wake County sheriff solicited votes during a church service. The candidate, incumbent John Baker, was endorsed by the pastor. A local newspaper reported that St. Matthew and other churches had also taken up special collections for Baker’s campaign.
  • Mount Carmel Baptist Church: Philadelphia, PA November 2000
    • Two days before the election, Vice President Al Gore was invited to speak to the congregation, where he asked for their support. At the conclusion of his remarks, the Rev. Albert F. Campbell prayer for the election of a man “who will provide the appropriate kind of leadership we need for the nation and the world at this time—Al Gore.”
  • Alfred Street Baptist Church: Alexandria, VA October 2000
    • Hosted a partisan speech delivered by President Bill Clinton on behalf of Vice President Al Gore and Virginia Sen. Chuck Robb.
  • Greater Grace Temple of the Apostolic Faith: Detroit, MI October 2000
    • Bishop Charles H. Ellis III, pastor of the congregation, offered a partisan introduction of Vice President Gore and criticism of Gov. George W. Bush. “We have seen in this state what Republican dominance and control will do,” Ellis said. The election, he added, was therefore a “no-brainer. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
  • Foundation for Human Understanding: Grants Pass, OR September 2000
    • Roy Masters, founder of the religious group, attacked Vice President Gore and the Democratic Party on his tax-exempt radio program. Advised listeners on his radio broadcast note to vote for Gore, asserting that Gore would betray the country to the Chinese.
  • Greater Exodus Baptist Church: Philadelphia, PA August 2000
    • Pastor endorsed GOP presidential candidate George W. Bush from his pulpit, while being broadcast via satellite to the Republican National Convention.
  • First Assembly of God: Warner Robins, GA August 2000
    • Church gave two $1,000 contributions to Republican candidate for Georgia State Legislature.
  • Allen African Methodist Episcopal Church: New York, NY February 2000
    • Pastor invited Vice President Al Gore to speak, then told congregants, “I don’t do endorsements from across the pulpit because I never know who’s out there watching the types of laws that govern separation of church and state. But I will say to you this morning and you read it well: This should be the next president of the United States.” Flake was visited by IRS agents who asked him to sign documents stating that he would issue no more church endorsements.
  • Third New Hope Missionary Baptist Church: Detroit, MI February 2000
    • Pastor encouraged congregants to vote against George W. Bush in state primary. He said, “Our governor wants to see a certain candidate do well in Michigan. His name rhymes with ‘Hush.’ Don’t vote for him. Our governor has not made us happy. We should not make him too happy. I want him to be upset Wednesday morning, like he keeps me upset. Like he keeps you upset.”
  • The Asia Baptist Church: New Orleans, LA October 1999
    • Pastor not only spoke on Democratic gubernatorial candidate’s behalf from the pulpit, but also directed those in attendance at services to contribution envelopes that had been sent to the church by the campaign.
  • Bayside Christian Fellowship: Green Bay, WI December 1998
    • Church officials allowed GOP congressional candidate Mark Green to speak from the pulpit and offered prayers on his behalf. Christian Coalition voter guides favoring Green were distributed in the church foyer.
  • MetroChurch: Edmond, OK December 1998
    • Ushers inside the church sanctuary distributed copies of Christian Coalition voter guides. Guides favored GOP candidates.
  • Crossroads Cathedral: Oklahoma City, OK December 1998
    • Christian Coalition guides, which favored GOP candidates, were stacked on a table near the church’s entrance.
  • Lighthouse Baptist Church: St. Maries, ID December 1998
    • John Farris, the head of the Republican Party in Benewah County, distributed Christian Coalition voter guides in this church. Guides favored Republican candidates.
  • First Assembly of God: Worcester, MA December 1998
    • Christian Coalition guides, which favored Republican candidates, were stacked on a counter in the church foyer.
  • Calvary Chapel: Santa Ana, CA December 1998
    • Stacks of Christian Coalition guides were left on tables around the church sanctuary. The guides favored GOP candidates.
  • Wheaton Evangelical Free Church: Wheaton, IL December 1998
    • Christian Coalition guides, which favored Republican candidates, were displayed prominently on a table in the church foyer next to the service’s program.
  • Sonrise Church: Hillsboro, OR December 1998
    • During services, a church elder advised congregants to pick up Christian Coalition voter guides, which were stacked in an adjoining wing. The guides favored GOP candidates.
  • New Psalmist Baptist Church: Baltimore, MD November 1998
    • Hosted Democratic rally two days before the election. Event featured President Bill Clinton speech supporting Democratic Gov. Parris Glendening.
  • United Baptist Missionary Convention: Baltimore, MD October 1998
    • Rev. John L. Wright wrote letter to Gov. Parris Glendening offering political support in exchange for social services funding.
  • Kansans for Life: Overland Park, KS August 1998
    • Non-profit group listed endorsement of GOP candidates given by a PAC in its newsletter.
  • Thomas Road Baptist Church: Lynchburg, VA July 1997
    • The Rev. Jerry Falwell of Thomas Road Baptist Church issued a fax urging churches to “get personally involved” in a GOP primary for attorney general. Falwell lauded the activities of one pastor, who send mailing to other Virginia pastors lauding the candidate. Falwell’s Old-Time Gospel Hour had its tax exemption retroactively revoked for political activities unrelated to this event.
  • MetroChurch: Edmond, OK July 1997
    • Pastor endorsed city council candidates in church bulletin. Church was involved in zoning dispute at the time, and pastor noted that certain candidates had positions favorable to the church.
  • Mount Calvary Church: Elizabethtown, PA May 1997
    • Pastor, speaking from the pulpit, encouraged church members to vote for specific candidates in school board election.
  • Windsor Village United Methodist Church: Houston, TX January 1997
    • Church hosted U.S. Rep. Richard Gephardt, who asked congregants to support a Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • The American Life League: Stafford, VA November 1996
    • Anti-abortion organization sent out a document titled “Voting Right” that explicitly endorsed U.S. Taxpayers Party presidential candidate. Candidate touted endorsement on his website.
  • Carter Metropolitan CME Church: Fort Worth, TX November 1996
    • Church provided space for a Democratic Party rally and prayer breakfast. A speaker at the event endorsed the entire Democratic ticket.
  • Friendship Missionary Baptist Church: Charlotte, NC November 1996
    • Pastor endorsed Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate from the pulpit. Pastor said, “Now, I know we have a lot of people to elect, but Cliff would say, ‘Vote for Harvey [Gantt].”
  • Hsi Lai Buddhist Temple: Hacienda Heights, CA November 1996
    • Hosted Democratic Party fundraiser attended by Vice President Al Gore.
  • Church of the Living Water: Olympia, WA October 1996
    • Pastor invited GOP candidate for U.S. Congress to speak from the pulpit two weeks before the election. Pastor described candidate as “a prophet to our nation” and acknowledged he had invited her to speak in a low-key manner. “We had to do it quietly,” he said. “There are reasons for that.”
  • Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans: New Orleans, LA October 1996
    • Retired Roman Catholic archbishop called press conference to back GOP candidate for U.S. Senate and president. The retired archbishop made it clear he was speaking on behalf of the current archbishop.
  • International Christian Media, Radio Ministry: Dallas, TX September 1996
    • Radio-based ministry issued a document rating candidates for president, assigning letter grades of A through F. The guide promoted Republican candidates and attacked Democrats.
  • The Eagle’s Landing First Baptist Church: McDonough, GA August 1996
    • Church announced it was conducting a special campaign against abortion tied to partisan campaigns. In a letter that was widely distributed, the church observes, “Our church is leading a campaign against abortion, and it is our intention that any candidate who endorses abortion will not be elected in November.”
  • Second Baptist Church: Lake Jackson, TX August 1996
    • Church announced it was conducting a special campaign against abortion tied to partisan campaigns. In a letter that was widely distributed, the church observes, “Our church is leading a campaign against abortion, and it is our intention that any candidate who endorses abortion will not be elected in November.”
  • Second Baptist Church: Houston, TX March 1996
    • Church sponsored special project designed to encourage members to attend a GOP precinct convention with the aim of electing certain individuals to local committees. Church had to undergo lengthy IRS audit.
  • Church at Pierce Creek: Vestal, NY November 1992
    • Took out a full-page advertisement in USA Today encouraging readers to vote against then-candidate Bill Clinton. The church later lost its tax-exempt status, and the denial was upheld by the federal courts in Branch Ministries, Inc. v. Rossotti.
    • Note: This report occurred before Americans United launched Project Fair Play. The project was officially announced in spring of 1996.