April 20, 2013

To Whom It May Concern:

I, Jonathan Garner, am writing the following testimony on behalf of the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries. I was born to parents who were members of the church, and I lived as a member of the ministry until I was 15 years old when the FBI in conjunction with many other branches of the federal and state governments raided the homes of its members forcing them to relocate to different states. The FBI conducted this raid on the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries church as well as several other properties owned by its members, and abducted members under the age of eighteen by calling upon the services of the DHS. The news of this occurrence caused the remaining members of the ministry who had children under the age of eighteen to remove their children in fear of having them ruthlessly and mercilessly torn from them and placed in the filth and ungodly hell that is foster care. I was one of those who were forced to leave.

While at the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries, I witnessed first-hand what the intentions of the ministries are, and the work that is done there. The work done at the ministry is completely not for profit, and especially not for the benefit of Pastor Alamo. There is no qualification to become a member of the ministry and to move into the facilities except that you are dedicated to Jesus and the preaching of the Gospel and that you keep the rules. As a member of the ministry, you are never worried or stressed about having the money to buy nutritious meals, or whether or not you will have the money to make rent or mortgage payments because everyone at the ministry works together for the collective good. If you need to see a doctor or dentist for any reason, you do not need to worry about how you will make the payments, everything is provided, and is immediately there when it is needed. The ministry provides a place for people to evangelize without the worry of where the next meal will come from, and when they know about someone who is worried or in need of any living necessity, they are there to supply the need. The people who are members of the ministry are people who want to focus every moment of their lives for Jesus, and those who do not feel they want to maintain this level of dedication are free to leave at any time. But for those who choose to remain, the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries provides a worry and stress-free haven in order to do so.

They supply food, shelter, and every other necessity of life to anyone in need, and never ask for a penny in return. Since I graduated high school, I have attended college, and as an undergraduate, I have done many hours of volunteer work at food banks and shelters, and I can testify that the church is more of a shelter than any other organization I know. The Tony Alamo Christian Ministries have no hours of operation because their doors are open to the needy twenty-four hours a day for seven days a week.

My dad is the overseer in charge of printing the gospel literature, and my mom is the one responsible for mailing them out; so I used to help them when I could and thus was given a firsthand view of what it takes to print and ship the literature. Tens of thousands of Bibles and gospel literature are sent around the world free of charge to distributors and souls desperately in need of the Word of God. These people cannot afford Bibles and gospel literature because other ministries seek to profit from the Word of God, and thus charge for Bibles and gospel literature- the exact opposite of the teachings of the Bible. The Bible states, “freely ye have received, freely give,” and that is exactly what Tony Alamo Christian Ministries does. These Bibles and Gospel literatures contain absolutely no solicitation for profit. If you do not believe me, you can read them for yourself; that is, if you are not too afraid of having to live with the terrible conviction from God on your life that you will receive from reading the literature if you are not right with God.

I also used to do landscaping work for the various properties owned by the different members of the church because I loved doing outdoor work. I have also done work on the house where Pastor Alamo stayed at in Fouke, Arkansas, and have been inside on many occasions as well because I was a friend of Pastor Alamo’s son. It is not a lavish house. It is a simple living space, and the backyard was setup as a place for the families to bring their children to play. There was a carousel, a merry-go-round, a stable for the pony, and an in-ground swimming pool. This is not set up for the benefit of Pastor Alamo, and the very notion of that is preposterous.

While at the ministry, I lived at the 120 N. 16th St., Ft. Smith, AR home with my parents in the upstairs loft apartment since I was nine years old. My older sister and her family lived in the larger lower portion of the home for several years before that. This house is over one hundred years old, in the historic district, and was bought and renovated from the ground up by the members of the ministry. It has only ever been used as a place of residence for the members of the ministry. Pastor Alamo has never benefited in any way from this house. The house is located hundreds of miles away from where Pastor Alamo lived, and since I have lived there, Pastor Alamo has never even been to the house. To claim that he has benefited in any way from this house is beyond preposterous. My mother and father, who are almost 60 and 65 respectively, currently reside at the house. To claim that Pastor Alamo owns this house and take it as settlement would leave my parents homeless and would be beyond unjust and inhumane.

The church is a mission where people from many walks of life work together to win souls, and to better the lives of the needy as Jesus commanded everyone to do. As I have shown above, nothing done at the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries is for the profit of Pastor Alamo. There is no earthly profit to giving everything away to feed the poor—whether they are poor in body or soul—and that is what is done at the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries.

Jonathan Garner