If you were passing through Patton and Louisiana Avenues today you probably saw them. Men in yellow vests with buckets saying “help the homeless, New Life Church.” Lots of people gave them money, some even pulled into the KFC or K-Mart parking lot to chat and give.
Who does not like
to help those less fortunate? We all do what we can, right?
“The Asheville Police Department received a number of calls about this situation,” said Sgt. Scott Lunsford of the West District, “They have a permit and have to keep out of traffic.” The permit is issued to a church from Louisville, KY called The New Life Church of Louisville, Inc., the pastor and CEO is listed as Cary Keith Fulks. The church (and his previous church in Fla.) has a long history of suspicious activity around fundraising. Police in Louisville, Tampa, Fla., NYC, and McAllen, Tx. have all investigated complaints from citizens about activities of the churches in the past. Federal charges led to convictions on a variety of charges in the 1990′s, including Mr. Fulks.
The Church has been described as a cult, and a front for shady business dealings — and worse — by The Rick Ross Institute, a recognized cult watcher.
The collectors were visibly upset when I was out taking photographs of them, and only smiled when I asked them where they were from.
Sgt. Lunsford continued, “APD will continue to monitor their activity, to insure the safety of everyone involved.”
The group has a permit to be there on Sun. Feb. 24 as well. There is no guarantee the money you give to this group will help anyone here in Asheville or Buncombe County. If you have a desire to give money, please find a local charity or use the cash drop boxes downtown.