Group Opposes Televangelist's Appearance at Ft. Jackson Next Month

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - A group is opposing Fort Jackson having a well-known televangelist come to speak at a prayer breakfast at the base in February.

Kenneth Copeland, whose broadcasts appear nationally, will be at the event at Fort Jackson on February 1.

Copeland is a televangelist associated with the Charismatic movement. His Texas-based ministries focus on the daily application of the "Word of God."

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But the Military Religious Freedom Foundation's founder and president, Michael Weinstein, has sent a letter to Fort Jackson Commanding General John "Pete" Johnson demanding that the invitation be revoked. Weinstein's group says that they have 56 Army members who have asked that the invitation be rescinded.

One of their reasons is that during one of his televised shows, Copeland stated that soldiers returning from war should not suffer from guilt or PTSD because they were doing God's work.

Fort Jackson's public information officer, Pat Jones said that the National Prayer breakfast on February 1 will feature prayer and discussion by military chaplains from a variety of faith traditions and includes Copeland.

Jones said that Copeland's participation in the prayer breakfast is not an endorsement by the Fort of Copeland or any comments he may present. The breakfast is open to all community members and is entirely voluntary and is free to the Army and attendees.

Jones also mentions that the Fort hosts a number of events annually and invites a wide range of folks to be guest speakers. Last year Will Graham, grandson of Billy Graham, spoke during the combined Protestant worship service in July.