Sean Feucht, a missionary musician who unsuccessfully ran for Congress this year as a Republican culture warrior and fan of President Donald Trump, has drawn criticism for parachuting into Minneapolis last weekend with plans to hold a “Hope Rally” in the city where George Floyd’s killing by police sparked nationwide protests. Feucht, who is white, has called the Black Lives Matter movement “shady” and a “fraud” in recent weeks. Feucht has said he supports the statement that black lives matter, but that “we can’t let our God-given empathy get hijacked by a dark movement with hidden agendas.”
In a June 5 Facebook post, Feucht made it clear that he opposes BLM movement’s embrace of LGBTQ equality and reproductive choice. “They are very pro-choice. I am very anti-abortion,” he wrote. “They believe in radical gender theory and the complete denuclearization of family. I believe that family is the most important foundation of our society and that God specifically made us in His image ‘male and female.’” In back-and-forth with commenters on that post, Feucht’s “team” called BLM a “hateful and anti police group” with “radical” and “crazy” ideas.
Feucht is affiliated with the controversial and influential Northern California megachurch Bethel, which has a global reach through its music label and School of Supernatural Ministry. In December, Feucht visited President Donald Trump at the White House with other evangelical leaders and put out an anti-impeachment video in which he urged members of Congress to “stop harassing the president.”
At a Movement 2020 event to kick off the new year, Feucht portrayed his congressional candidacy as a fulfillment of his own prayer at a rally organized by dominionist Lou Engle rally 20 years earlier, when Feucht said he prayed that God would “raise up deliverers that would fight for the unborn, that would fight for family values, that would fight for freedom in our nation.”
Feucht’s congressional candidacy was endorsed by Christian nationalist David Lane, Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk, and New Apostolic Reformation leaders Cindy Jacobs and Ché Ahn, but he failed to make it past California’s primary in March. Since then, he has launched the “Hold the Line” campaign, which he calls a “political activist movement” designed to get millennial Christians more involved in conservative politics.
Feucht’s politics as well as his harsh public criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement disturbed some current and former students at North Central University when Feucht began promoting a “Hope Rally” at the school on June 12. NCU, which is affiliated with the Pentecostal denomination Assemblies of God, had hosted a memorial for George Floyd on June 4 and has established a scholarship in Floyd’s name.
Information was shared among a group of liberal current and former students of NCU. One wrote to university officials expressing disappointment that the school would sponsor a concert with Feucht so soon after the funeral service. “If you are not aware, Sean Feucht is a republican politician in addition to being a musician,” they wrote. “He, using his platform as a musician, is sharing disinformation discrediting the Black Lives Matter movement and our city’s current actions to fight police brutality.”
Information about Feucht’s opposition to BLM was also shared on a local Facebook group, along with an appeal for people to protest Feucht’s event. Feucht claims he was flooded with death threats.
Feucht then announced that the event had been “postponed,” claiming, “A mob has threatened violence & looting on univ campus so we’re gonna reschedule for safety concerns.”
NCU alum Ben Barnhart was among those who challenged Feucht on Twitter, saying, “This is a baldfaced lie by @seanfeucht. There was no mob, the administration at NCU just hadn’t done their research. When they learned what this man actually stands for (and fails to stand for), he was asked to find another venue.” The thread continued: “If by mob he means NCU almuni expressing their displeasure at his attempt to capitalize on the political climate and collective pain in the city for some clout, guilty as charged, I guess.” The postponement announcement was later reposted without the language about mob violence.
On Saturday, when Feucht’s rally had been scheduled to take place, he instead performed at the corner of 38th and Chicago, the site of George Floyd’s death, where some local pastors and ministries had been holding worship services.
“God’s plan is always better!” Feucht posted on Facebook. “I can’t even describe what God did tonight!!!! JUST IN AWE! Im even grateful for the protestors and agitators making us change venues because this is EXACTLY where we were supposed to be tonight.”
After the Saturday evening event, Feucht said in a Facebook video that his mind was blown, adding, “The first chord that we strummed, and we started to worship, the presence of God invaded that street corner like I have never experienced.” He acknowledged that local pastors and leaders have been “plowing this ground for a long time” and thanked those who he said “snuck me in.” Feucht said he had never seen as powerful a “move of God” in the U.S.
“I saw more racial reconciliation today than I have in the last two weeks … and it all happened in the context of worship,” he continued, thanking protesters and “online trolls” who forced him to move his event from the university campus. “We’re going to change the narrative in America and you know what? Christians are going to stop fighting and gonna start worshipping.”
Others had a very different take. One Twitter thread portrayed Feucht’s actions as emblematic of the kind of spiritual warfare taught to young people trained by Feucht’s Burn 24-7 group, which seeks to bring “transformation” to cities and countries through worship and prayer.
A former NCU student involved in the George Floyd protests said that Feucht’s behavior was “unacceptable,” adding that he was “drowning out local DJs and musicians that were also occupying the space.”
As for Feucht’s claim that worship on the streets was turning riots into revival, the former student said, “I can assure you that the riots ended weeks ago, well before he ever forced himself into the scene.”
Other critics have weighed in. “At a time when most of the world is reflecting on justice work and muting themselves on social in order to amplify the voices charging forth the largest Civil Rights movement in the last several decades, Feucht has focused his energy on ‘exposing’ the Black Lives Matter movement instead,” wrote a blogger who goes by R.J.
Feucht has continued to post responses to his critics, portraying being “woke” as being in opposition to scripture. “It’s wild how many white ‘woke’ Christians are condemning, harassing and trolling me for supporting/bringing awareness to a worship, prayer and reconciliation rally that’s been going for 9 NIGHTS IN A ROW led by the black community,” he wrote Sunday afternoon.
“CANCEL CULTURE IS NOT KINGDOM CULTURE. [Don’t fall for it.],” read one Feucht post. “There is always resistance when we take ground in the spirit,” read another, invoking the language of spiritual warfare.
Feucht’s travels over the last two weeks included Washington, D.C., where he posted a photo standing in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church—site of President Donald Trump’s notorious photo-op—and St. Louis, where he conducted a “Hope Rally” with a group called Civil Righteousness.
In the midst of the controversy over his visit to Minneapolis, Feucht began promoting “A Biblical Statement on Human Value, Race, and Unity.”