Churches suing the US government for funds to rebuild after Hurricane Harvey received some good news at the start of 2018: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has revised its policies to make churches eligible for federal assistance following a disaster.
In the very first line of the 200-page-plus guide for FEMA’s public assistance program, the agency explicitly clarifies its new stance welcoming churches and other religious facilities that offer public services.
“Private nonprofit houses of worship will not be singled out for disfavored treatment within the community centers subcategory of [public assistance] nonprofit applicants,” wrote Alex Amparo, assistant administrator of FEMA’s recovery directorate.
FEMA cites last year’s major US Supreme Court ruling in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer, in which the high court decided that a church could not be deemed ineligible for a public benefit (in that case, grant funding to resurface a playground) solely due to its religious nature.
“In light of the Trinity Lutheran decision, FEMA has considered its guidance on private nonprofit facility eligibility and determined that it will revise its interpretation of the aforementioned statutory and regulatory authorities so as not to exclude houses of worship from eligibility for FEMA aid on the basis of the religious character or primarily religious use of the facility,” states the new 2018 policy.
Because FEMA’s public assistance program is offered to organizations providing public services, it has previously deemed religious facilities—along with political, athletic, vocational, and academic buildings—to be ineligible. It specifically barred organizations that sponsor “religious activities, such as worship, proselytizing, religious instruction, or fundraising activities that benefit a religious institution and not the community at large.”
That policy kept Texas churches that suffered damage during last year’s Hurricane Harvey from seeking disaster relief grants. Three congregations sued in Harvest Family Church v. FEMA, challenging the federal policy as religious discrimination.
Their case is pending before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans as well as the Supreme Court, but the church’s legal counsel is celebrating Tuesday’s development.
“By finally following the Constitution, FEMA is getting rid of second-class status for churches,” said Daniel Blomberg, an attorney with Becket, a leading legal group that defends religious liberty. “We will watch carefully to make sure that FEMA’s new policy is implemented to provide equal treatment for churches and synagogues alongside other charities.”
Just like charities, houses of worship that serve our communities and are impacted by natural disasters like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma should not be disqualified from disaster assistance simply because they are religious in nature,” stated Sen. James Lankford, an Oklahoma Republican and Southern Baptist pastor. “I’m pleased that FEMA is taking this important step to include houses of worship into its list of eligible entities for aid.”
Charles Stoker—pastor of Hi-Way Tabernacle, one of the Texas churches that sued—said he was relieved that “FEMA will start treating us like other charitable groups.” Within a week of Harvey, Stoker’s church housed dozens of displaced Texans and distributed 8,000 FEMA emergency meals.
The new guidelines add “houses of worship open to the general public” as an example of eligible facilities, and remove religious descriptions from the lists of exclusions.
The revisions follow Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s request that FEMA respond to the Texas churches, according to Becket. President Donald Trump, who visited Houston-area churches in the wake of the hurricane, had previous backed the congregation’s case, tweeting, “Churches in Texas should be entitled to reimbursement from FEMA Relief Funds for helping victims of Hurricane Harvey (just like others).”
FEMA’s policy also opens the public assistance program to other houses of worship, including a pair of synagogues that sued after they were flooded by Hurricane Irma.
In my book Guns to the Gospel, I bring out how Satan uses other Ministers and members to try and destroy the Church. Read about Pastor Robert Glass’s warning to me.
KELOWNA, B.C. — A Canadian man that had aspirations to be a pastor has been charged with second-degree murder after his wife and two young daughters were recently found dead in their home.
Jacob Forman, 34, made his first court appearance on Thursday after authorities found his wife of ten years, Clara, and their daughters Karina and Yesenia, 7 and 8 respectively, murdered in the couple’s Kelowna home on Dec. 17.
The motive is not yet known and Forman showed no emotion during his hearing, according to Global News. The bodies of the victims were not found until two days after the incident.
Forman, who worked as a supervisor for a plumbing and heating company, met his wife in Mexico where he was attending a Christian retreat in studying to be a pastor. The two married four months later, and Clara moved to Canada, where she became a fitness instructor.
“She was a wonderful, wonderful mother, wonderful associate, and wonderful person,” coworker Amanda Thomson told reporters, adding about Forman’s daughters, “They were sweethearts, just lovely little girls and we’re always going to remember and cherish them like that.”
According to Global News, Forman volunteered at the church he attended and served as the small group’s coordinator.
The tragedy came as a shock to those in the community as the quiet family seemed to be happy.
“They were just very nice people,” neighbor Gail Baran told reporters. “You would never ever think that [such a thing could happen in] that family. They were very down to earth people. He would go to work every day and appeared to be such a gentleman. It’s a shock for all of us here.”
Forman also posted happy photos and videos to his social media page, such as footage of Karina as a baby enjoying her birthday cake, according to CTV News.
After word of the alleged murders broke, those mourning the loss of Clara and the children set up a vigil outside of the home, complete with candles and stuffed animals. Messages of condolence have also been posted on Clara’s Facebook page.
“[J]ust read the horrific news. Truly sad and appalled at what this man did to his lovely children and wife. Shaken to the core,” one commenter wrote.
“My love to your family, sweet Clara,” a second stated.
“Likely untreated mental health,” another opined.
Forman’s attorney, Glenn Verdurman, didn’t didn’t know the motive either.
“Obviously he’s facing the worst possible thing he could be facing at this point in time. I can’t really speak for him, but he’s obviously holding up in court today, and I’m able to take instructions from him,” he told Crime Online.
Forman has been incarcerated without bail and prohibited from having contact with 13 people.
In Matthew 7:16-20, Jesus said, “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so, every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”
In November of 2016, the world witnessed what many said was impossible: Donald Trump elected President of the United States. Nearly every poll predicted his defeat but when the electoral map flipped red in the final hours, one man says he’d always known Trump would win.
His name is Mark Taylor, coauthor of The Trump Prophecies, who says nearly everything God told him is coming to pass.
Pastor Dukes Book now published on Amazon and Kendle Proceeds to be used to pioneer new work in Yerington NV
‘You’re Hearing the Voice of a President’
In April of 2011, Taylor, a retired firefighter from Orlando, Florida, was watching the news when then businessman Donald Trump came on the screen.
“I didn’t know a lot about Donald, I just knew that he was a very powerful businessman, built this empire, and he was toying with the idea of running for president at the time. Most people thought it was a joke so I’m listening to him on an interview and all of the sudden I hear the voice of the Lord say, ‘You’re hearing the voice of a president,'” Taylor said.
He went into his office, got out a pen and paper and started to write what he says the Holy Spirit told him.
“He was saying basically that America was going to prosper like never before; Israel and America, the ties between the two countries would be stronger than ever before; the dollar would be the strongest it’s ever been, it was very detailed as far as what God was showing me,” Taylor said.
At the time, Taylor suffered from an illness that made him so lethargic he had to stay home. That’s when he sought help from well-known Christian physician Dr. Don Colbert. During one visit, Taylor shared the prophecy with Dr. Colbert and his wife, Mary.
Seeing the Father’s ‘Rhythm’ in the Prophecy
“As I read this prophecy I saw the Father’s rhythm throughout the whole prophecy. And I recognized the rhythm, or frequency you could call it, because God has His own frequency,” Mary Colbert said. “I literally collapsed into a chair and said, Donald Trump is going to be our next President!?”
Colbert knew if the prophecy were to come true, it would take a lot of prayer.
“I began getting the prophecy in the hands of major leaders across the country, the Body of Christ, people that I knew that were influencers within their church. I started a prayer chain – 15 minutes a day. We started on Labor Day, the Lord instructed me to do it on Labor Day. He said, ‘This is going to be a labor of love; do it all the way through the election.'”
A 2012 Run for Presidency Was Not to Be
Taylor originally thought the prophecy would happen during the 2012 presidential election – but it was not to be.
“I thought I’d truly missed it,” Taylor said.
But then, on June 16, 2015, Donald Trump announced he was running for President of the United States. Suddenly Mark’s prophetic word didn’t seem so far-fetched, although most people still didn’t take the billionaire businessman seriously.
As the race for the White House grew heated and ugly at times, Colbert had moments of doubt and called on God for confirmation. She says the Holy Spirit impressed upon her to watch the upcoming Belmont Stakes horse race of June 2016, where a horse named Creator beat a horse named Destin by a hair.
“And the CNN headline said: ‘Creator Wins by a Photo Finish!’ I sat back in my chair and I said, ‘God you’re really going to do this!'” Mary proclaimed.
When election night finally arrived, Trump’s win astounded the most experienced political journalists. Many were visibly shaken on the air as they couldn’t believe Trump had won.
Stopping an Anti-Christian Agenda
Taylor says God used Trump to stop an anti-Christian agenda that was taking hold of America.
“The enemy’s timeline has been denied by the Most-High God and it’s through Donald Trump a lot of this is being denied right now,” Taylor said. “And what God is saying right now is ‘No, it’s not time right now because there are many things that God wants to accomplish on the earth right now,'” he said.
But Taylor says there’s one part of the prophecy that hasn’t come to pass yet – regarding the news media.
News Media Prophecy
“It says the news media would be captivated by him, and they would even begin to agree with him. That’s the only line in the prophecy that hasn’t come to pass yet, so we have to ask ourselves, what’s fixing to happen to make the mainstream media to begin to agree with him?”
So I asked Mark the question, what is “fixing to happen?”
“God’s going to clean out the news media,” Taylor said. “God is looking for His people right now, His millionaires and billionaires basically to come in and start investing in these places and buying them out; taking over. God is going to rebuild them and restore them because there is no spirit of truth in them right now – and that’s what God is going to restore.”
Taylor believes Trump’s victory is just the beginning. The fireman-prophet also predicts the church will thrive and America will see a great move of God.
“The Army of God will have victory after victory after victory – and I love what Pres. Trump always says…you’ll get sick and tired of winning, if there is such a thing, and that’s the same way for the Army of God it’s going to be victory after victory after victory!”, he said.
When asked whether Trump will win a second term, Taylor said “Absolutely. I’m sure about that because when people see the good that the country is coming in to, the prosperity, the economy, the jobs – he’s going to sail in to the second term,” Taylor said.
Sister Carol Dukes Book now published on Amazon
Full Text of Mark Taylor’s April 28, 2011 Trump Prophecy:
“The Spirit of God says I’ve chosen this man Donald Trump for such a time as this. For as Benjamin Netanyahu is to Israel, so shall this man be to the United States of America, for I will use this man to bring honor, respect and restoration to America. America will be respected once again as the most powerful, prosperous nation on Earth other than Israel. The dollar will be the strongest it has ever been in the history of the United States and will once again be the currency by which all others are judged. The Spirit of God says the enemy will quake and shake, and fear this man I have anointed. They will even quake and shake when he announces he is running for President. It will be like the shot heard across the world. Then you will say what shall we do now? This man knows all our tricks and schemes. We’ve been robbing America for decades. What should we do to stop this? The Spirit says, ha, no one shall stop this that I have started, for the enemy has stolen from America for decades and it stops now. For I will use this man to reap the harvest that the United States has sown for and plunder from the enemy what he has stolen, and return it back sevenfold to the United States. The enemy will say, ‘Israel, Israel, what about Israel?’ Israel will be protected by America once again. The Spirit says yes, America will once again stand hand in hand with Israel and the two shall be as one, for the ties between Israel and America will be stronger than ever and Israel will flourish like never before. The Spirit of God says I will protect America and Israel, for this next President will be a man of his word. When he speaks the world will listen and know that there is something greater in him than all the others before him. This man’s word is his bond and the world and America will know this, and the enemy will fear this, for this man will be fearless. The Spirit says when the financial harvest begins so shall the parallel in the spiritual for America. The Spirit of God says in this next election they will spend billions to keep this president out. It will be like money down the toilet. Let them waste their money, for where it comes from is being used by evil forces at work, but they will not succeed. This next election will be a clean sweep for the man that I have chosen. They will say things about this man, the enemy, but it will not affect him and they will say it rolls off of him like a duck. For even as the feathers of a duck protect it, so shall my feathers protect this next president. Even mainstream news media will be captivated by this man and the abilities that I gift to him and they will even begin to agree with him, says the Spirit.” – Mark Taylor
Pastor Dukes Book now published on Amazon and Kendle Proceeds to be used to pioneer new work in Yerington NV