11/21/08 – KFSM VIDEO Report: Alamo Follower, Peter Pochatko, Speaks to Reporters

November 21, 2008
by Daren Bobb

Alamo follower in Fort Smith speaks out

Click here to be directed to the video report.

FORT SMITH – Tony Alamo followers say there’s a conspiracy to bring Alamo down. Followers of the controversial minister are speaking out after the Department of Human Services took custody of more than 20 children of church members over the last few weeks.

Peter Pochatko, one of the followers who attends the Alamo Christian Ministeries church in Fort Smith, says he has known Tony Alamo since 1969.

Pochatko says everything the government has done to this point is illegal and has no foundation. “They say we got guns. They raid the place. They look over every square inch. They never find guns. Produce the guns. They never can. There ain’t any”, says Pachatko. “They say there is child abuse. Produce the child abuse. Let’s see some scars. Kids that you’ve taken out, kidnapped, saying, ‘I hate that place’, no all those kids, they love it”.

Pochatko says not only do the kids say they love the church, but he says those who are providing temporary DHS foster care can’t even come up with an allegation of abuse. “Foster parents have called back saying they love the place. They’re not abused. There’s not evidence whatsoever”, he says.

In home video taken a few days ago when police and the DHS took custody of children near Texarkana you can see kids hugging their parents and hear them crying.

Pochatko says this simply isn’t right. “In America, used to be that you were innocent until proven guilty. Tony is in a hole down there in Texarkana. All this is going and he can’t say a thing. Why do you think he’s being singled out? Because he’s the only one…preaching the gospel the way the Lord wants it preached. People don’t read the bible they have no idea what God is, what the Lord really said or what he means”.

Pochatko says not everyone understands the method in which Alamo preaches ever since this church began. “Tony’s motto has been ‘shape up or ship out’. And if people don’t want to stop sinning, they’re not welcome. Get out of Tony’s church or we’ll throw you out. He will not stop, he will not back down, and they go crazy. Isn’t that a testament right there, that we gotta be right with the Lord?”

Pochatko says all this, if anything, has brought the Alamo church family even closer, and says just as their leader, they will also not back down from preaching what they say is right.

Authorities took 20 children into protective custody Tuesday, none of which were from Sebastian County.

In: 2008 - (Trial year)

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