Word of Faith Fellowship began in 1979 when Jane Whaley and her husband Sam Whaley converted a former steakhouse to a chapel. She was a math teacher and he sold used cars. Jane Whaley, the daughter of a plumber and a homemaker who had two brothers in rural North Carolina, led the group as it grew from a few people to 750, and added almost 2,000 followers in related churches in Brazil, Ghana, Scotland, Sweden and other countries. Though Jane Whaley had no formal training in ministry, she was described as a compelling speaker and leader.
In 1995, Jane and Sam Whaley denied allegations made by several former members on the TV program Inside Edition. The church was investigated by the SBI in the 1990s for child abuse after more than forty former members told the Forest City Daily Courier and other outlets what they believed had happened there. No charges resulted. In 2000, a woman testifying in a child custody case said her one-year-old son was subjected to "blasting", or standing in a circle and loudly praying, sometimes for hours, in order to drive out demons. Jane Whaley, asked about discipline at her church, said God wanted children to be beaten if that was necessary
Jane Whaley (False Prophet)
2022, Embroidery, thread, found fabric, plastic beads, fake, hot glue, gold gilded frame, 8 x 12 inches
Would you believe?
By Mitch Weiss and Holbrook Mohr
February 27, 2017