FEMA Denies Mega-Ministry Millions in Funding

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James Lasher

In a series of shocking posts the night of Tuesday, Apr. 9, founder of the Dream Center and Senior Pastor of Angeles Temple Matthew Barnett revealed that the large-scale ministry which helped see the city of Los Angeles through the lockdowns of 2020 and into 2021 was denied funds by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“We [were] just turned down funds from FEMA for [the] millions we spent during Covid feeding 5 million people for 380 days in a row because they said we didn’t partner with government programs,” Barnett’s initial post reads. “Nearly every day [the] city [of Los Angeles] asked us to help in some way. We even provided an outdoor school.”

To say that the Dream Center did not partner with government programs is disingenuous at best, and a bald-faced lie at worst.

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Barnett re-shared posts from Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who encouraged people to travel to the Dream Center for free meals for Los Angeles Unified School District students, putting to rest FEMA’s claims that the massive outreach ministry had not done so in conjunction with multiple government organizations.

“Attention Angeleno students and families: Starting today, The Dream Center will provide free meals to LA Unified School District students for the next two weeks while schools remain closed,” the post starts.

As time went by, that two weeks stretched far longer than originally planned.

Now, the federal government under Joe Biden’s administration is refusing to assist the ministry that helped the people when the government failed to do so.

Barnett shared that he believes this is due to a bias against the ministry compounded by outrageous cost-of-living in the city brought about by bad policy from city leaders.

“I’m frustrated. We won’t quit. We’ll go as far as we can go but due to unfavorable bias towards us my family is living paycheck to paycheck maxing out our cards to pay the staff. All because of the ridiculous cost of everything in LA and being cut off from so many opportunities,” Barnett says in a follow-up post.

In response to a comment encouraging Barnett to take legal action against FEMA, he wrote “The biggest relief work done in LA history during [the] pandemic being discriminated against. It’s criminal the discrimination.”

This is a sad reality for Christian ministries in America today, especially in deep-blue regions like Los Angeles.

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It doesn’t matter if you are a cessationist or a continualist, a Catholic or charismatic, the actions of the federal government in recent years have demonstrated beyond any shadow of a doubt that Christian beliefs are not welcome in the new America they are hoping to create.

If you declare the name of Jesus, you are a target.

But it is in the darkest of times when the light of Jesus shines brightest. For all the attempts to snuff out His mighty name, the devil is unable to do so. During these times of discrimination and persecution, the Church must step up and be the force for good that Jesus designed her to be, just as the Dream Center has been doing for decades now.

Feed the poor, support and love the needy and downtrodden, proclaim the goodness and salvation found in Jesus Christ, and in doing this God will provide for all of our needs.

When we love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul and mind, we will obey His commandments and put these practices into action. In the meantime, Christians have legal roads they are able to take in times of persecution in America, but for how long those options are available, time will tell.

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James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.

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