Churches at center of FBI raid lose recommendation, removed from VA’s school list
HINESVILLE, Ga. (WTOC) - Georgia’s Department of Veterans Service said they’ve withdrawn approval of the two House of Prayer Churches in the state.
This as a non-profit that says they’ve been warning about these facilities for years has a renewed call to action.
“We knew that this school had a troubling and problematic history. We’ve spoken with many students and whistleblowers who worked at the school and were able to detail the practices that they were taking at the school,” said Will Hubbard, with Veterans Education Success.
Veterans Education Success, a non-profit that helps veterans find educational opportunities, says the House of Prayer churches committed fraud by taking G.I. Bill funding and not providing a proper education in return.
“At this point, we’re cautioning service members and their family members all to steer clear,” Hubbard said.
The schools were previously on the VA’s GI Bill Comparison tool, but have since been removed. WTOC reached out to the VA, and they released the following statement:
“House of Prayer locations were removed from the GI Bill Comparison Tool due to recent withdrawals of program approval or suspensions of enrollment of new GI Bill students. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) defers to the respective State Approving Agency (SAA) regarding program approval status.”
The Georgia State Approving Agency with the state’s department of Veterans Service said they removed their approval on June 24, a day after the FBI raided the facilities.
It’s unclear how long the schools remained on the website after the removal of their approval.
“Unfortunately, we saw for up to over a week after the FBI raided their facilities, that the school remained on the GI Bill Comparison Tool, signaling to prospective students that this was a good school to go to.”
And now Veterans Education Success wants a clear warning posted.
“We actually would rather see that the school is maintained on the site but indicated that they are no longer eligible for the GI Bill. That way students currently attending the school can see that information as well as those in Congress, advocates and others,” Hubbard said.
Hubbard says now, his organization is pushing for Congress to approve more rigorous filters for programs that have the ability to access GI Bill funds.
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