Sunday, March 13, 2022

Patriot Churches

Back in 2018, Ken Peters, pastor of Covenant Church in Spokane, Washington, and members of his church began holding monthly worship services outside of the local Planned Parenthood. They called themselves, The Church at Planned Parenthood (TCAPP). Two years later, he and wife founded the Patriot Church movement, which unapologetically fuses Christian faith and American politics. The movement describes itself as “a spiritually active, governmentally engaged and grassroots effort designed to take back our communities from tyranny.” It believes that demonic forces are attacking “the cultural and religious fabric that makes the USA so special.” As such, it argues that Christians are called by God “to resist [this] tyranny wherever it exists.”

The first church was founded near Knoxville, Tennessee (where Peters is pastor) in 2020. Another soon followed in Virginia, and his former church in Spokane also signed on. Another church in Washington (Moses Lake) joined in 2021, and two more are set to open in 2022 (in Texas and Florida).

Although the number of churches is small, the movement is part of a loose network of individuals, churches, and organizations that believe the U.S. was founded as a Christian nation and are called to restore the U.S. to its Christian roots ("The Appeal of Christian Nationalism"). The movement appears to be largely driven by Peters's energy and influence. Only time will tell whether it can survive without it.

I recently was invited to write a short essay on the movement for the World Religions and Spirituality Project. You can find the essay here: