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Pa. Conservative lawmakers, faith leaders meet with Christian dominionist activist in Harrisburg

  • By Jaxon White/LNP | LancasterOnline
Rep. David Zimmerman was on stage with other legislators during the March for Life rally on Third Street in front of the Pennsylvania Capitol building Monday, Oct. 16, 2023.

 Blaine Shahan / LNP | LancasterOnline

Rep. David Zimmerman was on stage with other legislators during the March for Life rally on Third Street in front of the Pennsylvania Capitol building Monday, Oct. 16, 2023.

Two Republican state lawmakers and several faith leaders were among those who met Wednesday with a controversial Christian activist to discuss promoting a prayer rally in Harrisburg ahead of the general election.

Sean Feucht, an evangelical musician who has become increasingly active in politics, told several dozen people at the Capitol media center in Harrisburg that his organization, Let Us Worship, will host a prayer rally on the steps of the Pennsylvania Capitol in October to “prophesize over” the fall election.

Feucht promotes Christian dominionism, which teaches that Christians are mandated by God to take control of all aspects of government and culture.

“God, for the sake of Pennsylvania, for the future of our kids, for the perversion that’s filling our state, for the hate, for this anti-Christian sentiment … we want you to reside in our capital city,” Feucht said Wednesday.

Feucht called on those at the meeting to promote the October rally to their congregations and followers so enough people show up to “shut the street down” outside the Capitol. The rally will be held on either the first or second Friday of the month.

Feucht garnered a following during the COVID-19 pandemic for organizing in-person concerts to protest restrictions placed on religious services, raking in $4 million in 2020. In 2019, Feucht also advanced his political influence as one of the faith leaders who prayed over former President Donald Trump in the White House.

His group’s scheduled October stop in Pennsylvania is part of its Kingdom to the Capitol tours, which are planned in other state capitals, including Boston, Salt Lake City, Denver and Phoenix, in the months leading up to the Nov. 5 general election. Feucht said Pennsylvania was intentionally chosen as one of the final stops on the tour because of its status as a swing state.

“We’re not appealing to a governmental authority,” Feucht said, to shouts of “Amen” from the crowd and raised hands in the air. “We’re appealing to the king of all kings.”

Feucht said he’ll be in Washington for the National Day of Prayer Thursday to meet and pray with conservative lawmakers.

Present at Wednesday’s meeting were state Sen. Doug Mastriano, the failed 2022 Republican gubernatorial nominee, and state Rep. Dave Zimmerman, of East Earl Township.

Zimmerman, noting that Feucht’s meeting was held the day before the annual National Day of Prayer observance in Washington, D.C., said, “If we all pray, our nation could be a better place for all of us.”

Asked if he subscribed to Feucht’s belief that Christians should influence government, Zimmerman said he did not know Feucht very well and that he believes “good people who support freedom for all should be our elected officials. Also, they should understand that they are to be servants on behalf of the people.”

Mastriano’s spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Mastriano and Zimmerman regularly meet with faith leaders like Feucht behind closed doors in the Capitol building. They often meet with Abby Abildness, a leading apostle in the New Apostolic Reformation movement who hosts regular faith-based tours of the Capitol building. Abildness, too, attended Feucht’s Wednesday meeting with her husband, James Abildness.

New Apostolic Reformation and other groups led by Abby Abildness, such as the Pennsylvania Apostolic Prayer Network and the Global Apostolic Prayer Network, teach the Seven Mountain Mandate — which splits society into seven “mountains” that Christians must seize control of for God, including arts and entertainment, business, education, family, government, media and religion.

Abildness also serves as the state director of the Pennsylvania Prayer Caucus, which works to influence lawmakers’ governance with Christian beliefs.

Abildness did not respond to a request for comment.

Also present at Feucht’s speech was East Donegal Township state Rep. Tom Jones’ legislative aide, Sharon Ogilvie, who was elected to be an alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention in July for the 11th Congressional District, which includes Lancaster County and the southern half of York County.

As recently as 2022, Ogilvie led the Elizabethtown chapter of FreePA, a group of grassroots activists born of opposition to coronavirus lockdowns who have advocated for limited government and pro-parental rights educational policies.

Faith leaders

Many who attended Feucht’s speech had been in the Capitol’s main rotunda earlier Wednesday morning for an event hosted by the Pennsylvania Family Institute, a Harrisburg-based nonprofit that promotes conservative Christian ideals.

Kurt Weaver, director of strategic partnerships at the Family Institute and director of the Church Ambassador Network, stood in the back of the media center with Charles Stock, a lead pastor at Harrisburg’s Life Center Ministries, which hosted Feucht for an event last year and scheduled a similar event for Wednesday evening.

Weaver said Wednesday he did not hear much of Feucht’s speech because he had to leave early.

Stock did not respond to a request for comment.

Matt Kroll, a pastor at the Lord’s House of Prayer in Lancaster city who helped organize the group prayer outside Lancaster County Public Library on the eve of the canceled Drag Queen Story Hour in March, sat behind Abildness during Feucht’s meeting.

Kroll declined to comment.

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