Recently, Andrew Wommack Ministries (AWM) filed a lawsuit against the state of Colorado. Andrew appreciates the love and support of his partners and wants to share important updates on this evolving situation.
This past week, Andrew sat down with Colorado State Rep. Mark Baisley, House District 39; Richard Harris, chief counsel for AWM; Billy Epperhart, CEO of AWM; and Duane Sheriff, a member of AWM’s Board of Directors and a Charis Bible College instructor. Together, the group shared powerful insights into the big picture of what is happening in society today, as well as information on AWM’s lawsuit.
Some of the highlights of the discussion include:
- AWM is not the only organization taking a stand. Two other lawsuits have been launched against the state of Colorado: one by the Republicans of the Colorado House of Representatives and another by Bandimere Speedway, a private business just west of Denver.
- The lawsuits in Colorado have the potential to reach the state Supreme Court and possibly even the U.S. Supreme Court.
- Some leaders believe that some government officials have politicized COVID-19 and are using it for an agenda beyond public health concerns.
- Colorado state officials demanded a limit of 175 people at meetings with no allowance for the large capacity and extensive health precautions taken at Charis.
- U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colorado) encouraged Andrew for the stand he is taking.
- AWM is not acting out of rebellion, but doing its best to comply with health officials, while still obeying God’s call to minister to people.
- God is stirring the body of Christ to respond before it’s too late.
Church is Not Optional
Reflecting on the past several months, Andrew expressed concern for the safety and health of people during the pandemic. However, as the situation has unfolded, he said it became clear to him that the mortality rate is not nearly as dire as originally predicted and that an agenda other than public health was at work. He says it became obvious that there would be no end to restrictions in sight. He also saw that much damage was being done to people beyond their physical health; that the economic and emotional damage caused by the restrictions were taking their toll on people.
As he looked at the need people have for ministry, Andrew’s concern was that government officials were taking undue advantage of the situation, being fed by a mindset to control people. In May, Andrew sent a letter to Colorado Gov. Jared Polis saying that he believes the ministry has a constitutional right to hold meetings, but that this right has not been respected.
Going on to explain how he cancelled several events, Andrew talked about his desire to make accommodations to protect people, but realized that ongoing cancellations were not God’s will and that he had a responsibility to stand up for his constitutional rights and provide the ministry that people need.
“Church is not optional,” Andrew said. “It is essential, and we minister to people far beyond their physical bodies.”
State Rep. Mark Baisley, Colorado House District 39
Rep. Baisley’s main concerns with the restrictions are that they are perpetual and not advisory in nature. He explained that the emergency powers given to the governor were meant to protect people from immediate threats and were never intended for the situation we’re in now.
Rep. Baisley believes the ongoing use of power by the government is unconstitutional.
“COVID-19 will always be present. It’s not something that will go away,” said Baisley. “We will learn to deal with it, to build immunity to it. . . . But that perpetual order has now displaced our constitutional republic.”
With concerns about the liberal judges in Colorado, Rep. Baisley spoke about how he believes some judges are not fulfilling their purpose of being objective referees, but instead are taking political stances in their rulings. He also explained a proper understanding of Romans 13:1—that government officials must submit to the will of the people because, according to our Constitution, the people are the ones with the authority.
Rep. Baisley is encouraged that the lawsuits filed by AWM, the Colorado House Republicans, and Bandimere Speedway will make a difference.
“We’re going to do our best, and maybe get the attention of the Supreme Court, either here at the state level, or of the U.S. Supreme Court,” he said.
Richard Harris, chief counsel of Andrew Wommack Ministries
Richard talked about how the court has treated AWM. He said AWM hired Liberty Counsel which filed a 90-page complaint with 600 exhibits on three different types of injunctions, but that the judge responded briefly in just a few days. At this point, Richard says AWM is regrouping, but by no means is the fight over.
Along with a team from AWM, Richard has worked diligently on the case, meeting in a “War Room” to develop a strategy to stand up for the ministry’s rights.
Looking at the phrase “the new normal,” Richard said that some government officials want to use the situation with the pandemic to take and keep as much power as they possibly can, and that the time to stop their power grab is now.
“The only way to go back to the way things were, is for the righteous to take a stand and insist the Constitution be followed and enforced,” Richard said. “Once people give up their freedoms, it’s almost impossible to get them back.”
Billy Epperhart, CEO of AWM
Billy stresses that the ministry has not discarded common sense, but that they love people and want to protect them while continuing ministry. He made a list of AWM’s events over the past few months, noting that most of them were converted to live stream only. He also talked about the extensive measures taken by AWM and Charis Bible College to protect guests, staff, and the community, including temperature checks, social distancing, sanitation stations, mask wearing, and having only forty percent of staff work on site at any time.
Billy says he strongly believes AWM is pursuing the correct course with the lawsuit and pressing forward for constitutional rights.
“I really believe with all my heart we’re doing the right thing,” Billy said. “We’re making the right stand and I emphasize that we’re in this for the long-haul.”
Pastor Duane Sheriff, AWM board member, Charis instructor, and Senior Pastor of Victory Life Church
Pastor Duane gave a heartfelt thanks to the ministry’s partners for standing alongside AWM. He believes that we are in a unique moment in time—a crossroads in which we must stand up for our God-given rights so that future generations will still be able to enjoy freedom. He says that our conscience tells us that we must stand up peacefully and lovingly.
“Those (constitutional) rights do not come from men, they’re granted by God. . . . That’s not a political issue or a governmental issue; that’s a God issue,” said Pastor Duane. “For us to not take a stand at this time would violate our consciences. It would violate Hebrews 10:25—we’re under commandment to forsake not the assembling of ourselves, but to provoke one another to love and to good works.”
Noting that protestors who are burning, damaging, and rioting are being encouraged while the church is being attacked, fined, and threatened for simply wanting to meet peacefully, Pastor Duane pointed out the hypocrisy and agenda behind the restrictions. Additionally, Pastor Duane believes it is dangerous for people to listen to mainstream media, but not church leaders or the Bible on these issues.
Finally, Duane said we must discern both good and evil. We need to recognize the spirit of antichrist that is at work; that what’s happening now is an attack on our liberties and economy, and that there is an agenda to destroy the economy and present socialism and communism as the only hope. He encouraged Christians to be watchmen and put a stop to the abuse of power.
Conclusion from Andrew
As the situation with the pandemic and our constitutional rights develops, Andrew and all his staff have the heart to protect people—both physically and spiritually.
Andrew encourages people to visit the following resources to be informed about their liberties and the pandemic: