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Controversial Pastor, House of Prayer Church Under Investigation Again for Abuse of Children

Back in March 2001, they pushed, kicked and screamed. More than 40 children refusing to go with the people trying to help them.

Dozens of children rescued after allegations of abuse at the House of Prayer. Some of those children are now adults and they’re speaking out about their experience for the very first time.

This, as we learn the Atlanta Police Department has a launched a new investigation into the church.

“Imagine for years being tortured by snakes,” said Naomi Smith-Howard.

“I wanted to commit suicide,” said Tenishia Smith.

“They hiss at you and then pick at you.”

“A church is a place where you go to worship God,” said James Smith, Jr. “It is not a place where you are demeaned and degraded.”

Once members of the infamous ‘House of Prayer,’ these siblings, Tenishia, Naomi and James Jr., said they are still feeling the effects, more than a decade later, of what they call “years of abuse.”

“We’ve experienced physical abuse, emotional abuse, mental abuse,” said Tenishia.

The church made national headlines back in 2001 when its Pastor Arthur Allen and four other members were arrested and charged with cruelty to children for the beating of two young boys.

Pastor Allen and one of the church members were convicted. Allen served two years in prison.

In all, 41 children were removed by the State of Georgia, including Teniesha and James. The brother and sisters attended the church under the orders of their parents. However, their mom is now deceased.

Their father, they haven’t had a relationship with him in years since leaving House of Prayer.

Read more: 11Alive News


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