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Dream City Church Partners With TPUSA for Strong Church Dream Conference 2024

Annual conference geared to ministry leaders took on a political flavor this year

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Last week, Dream City Church held its annual Dream Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

Dream Conference is a three-day event featuring speakers, resources and workshops geared toward ministry leaders. This year, the church partnered with Charlie Kirk’s Turning Point USA (TPUSA).

Charlie Kirk founded TPUSA at 18, growing it into an $80-million political machine. The rightwing nonprofit rose to prominence working closely with Donald Trump to mobilize the youth vote during his 2016 campaign.

Kirk also promoted claims of voter fraud during the 2020 election, and in a since-deleted tweet promoted Turning Point Action’s involvement in taking “buses full of patriots to DC to fight for the president” on Jan. 6, 2021. He was later questioned about his role in the riots by the House January 6 Committee and pleaded the fifth.

Dream City Church, led by Senior Pastor Luke Barnett, has long had ties to Kirk. In 2020, the church partnered with Turning Point Action, the political arm of TPUSA to host Donald Trump for a Students for Trump rally.

This time, Kirk partnered with Barnett for the 2024 Strong Church Dream Conference, which took place from Feb. 26-28.

“We said, why don’t we try to combine forces this critical year of 2024 in the state of Arizona to try to send a message to the rest of the world that the American church is going to stand for liberty?,” Kirk told the crowd, according to ChurchLeaders. “The American church is going to stand for righteousness…the American church is not going to roll over for the secular, godless, globalist regime that is raining terror in this country right now.”

While TPUSA has largely kept its focus on political causes, in 2021 it turned its sights on the faith community with the launch of TPUSA Faith.

TPUSA Faith is “on a mission to serve the American church by resourcing Christians across the nation to stand for liberty and The Kingdom,” according to its website.

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Many of the speakers at the Strong Church event have previously partnered with TPUSA and used their platforms to promote political issues—speakers like Rob McCoy, cofounder of Turning Point Faith and senior pastor at Godspeak Calvary Chapel. In 2022, McCoy publicly prayed that Marjorie Taylor Greene would become the U.S. president and routinely preaches about politics from the pulpit.

The Strong Church event also featured Eric Metaxas who is currently being sued for defamation for claiming a Dominion Voting Systems executive rigged the election in Joe Biden’s favor. He has written pro-Trump children’s books and on Jan. 6 tweeted: “There is no doubt the election was fraudulent. That is the same today as yesterday. There is no doubt Antifa infiltrated the protesters today and planned this. This is political theater and anyone who buys it is a sucker. Fight for justice and Pray for justice. God bless America.”

Sean Feucht, a regular at TPUSA events, also spoke. He rose to prominence during the pandemic for hosting worship protests in the midst of COVID restrictions.

ChurchLeaders also notes that Jentezen Franklin, pastor of Free Chapel in Georgia and former evangelical advisor to Trump, spoke at the event, warning leaders to stop being negative because “negativism is evil in the sight of God.”

In the past, Franklin has defended evangelical support of Trump. In an interview with Hill.TV, Franklin said evangelicals care more about policy than personality.

“When I looked at Hillary [Clinton] and I looked at President Trump, and I looked at where she stood on pro-life, where she stood on so many issues, where she stood on economics, where she stood on everything, and it’s pretty obvious the president was more in line with what I believe than Hillary,” he said. “And so I chose the president.”

TPUSA Faith has been building out its programs since its launch. In 2022, it held its first annual Pastors Summit in San Diego, and again in 2023 with Feucht and Metaxas as speakers.

TPUSA Faith also partners with Patriot Academy to offer Biblical Citizenship classes. Patriot Academy was founded by Rick Green and offers courses in constitutional literacy and constitutional defense, which includes firearm training.

The organization also runs a monthly event series called “Freedom Night in America,” hosted at Dream City Church.

Dream City Church’s website states: “With Freedom Night in America, TPUSA Faith is activating millions of faith-filled patriotic Americans by giving them the necessary tools to bridge the gap of Faith and Freedom in an effort to save the country!”

The next Freedom Night event is scheduled for March 6, 2024 and will feature Pastor Andrew Sedra.

Main photo: Strong Church Dream Conference on Feb. 27 / Photo via social media @tpusafaith

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Brittany Smith

Brittany Smith is a freelance writer living in Colorado Springs. She is the co-author of Unplanned Grace: A Compassionate Conversation on Life and Choice.