LaPorte Church of Christ

A congregation in Texas and Colorado, known for its strong adherence to scriptural teachings and for its controversial past leadership.

LaPorte Church of Christ, located in Laporte, Colorado, is an independent church that was led by Peter J. Peters from 1977 until his death in 2011. This church is distinct from the similarly named Church of Christ congregations and has a controversial reputation due to its association with the Christian Identity movement, which Peters promoted through his teachings and media outreach.

Peter J. Peters, born on November 13, 1946, began his ministry after studying at the Church of Christ Bible Training School in Gehring, Nebraska. Upon moving to the LaPorte Church of Christ in 1977, he witnessed a drastic reduction in the congregation, retaining only five members initially due to his shift towards Christian Identity—a belief system that claims European descendants are God’s chosen people, and is known for its extreme views on race and religion. Peters’s views led to a significant transformation in the church’s identity and mission​​.

The church, under Peters’s leadership, became a platform for his white supremacist and anti-Semitic views, which he disseminated through his radio and Internet ministry known as “Scriptures for America.” This ministry reached a broad audience via shortwave radio, advocating for views that were widely considered racist and anti-government. Peters’s influence extended into the broader far-right movement in America, with connections to various white supremacist groups and events that shaped the antigovernment and militia movements in the 1990s​​.

The LaPorte Church of Christ has been involved in legal and social controversies, including a significant incident where it was fined for violating election laws in Colorado. The church was seized by the state in 1993 when Peters refused to pay the fine, claiming that the debt exceeded $10,000. This legal battle highlighted the church’s contentious role in local politics and social issues​​.

Peters passed away on July 7, 2011, due to renal failure. Despite his attempts to distance himself from the Christian Identity label later in life, his teachings and the ideologies he promoted had left a lasting impact on his followers and the church itself. The LaPorte Church of Christ remains a notable example of a religious organization that intertwined faith with radical political and racial ideologies, significantly shaping its legacy and influence within the broader context of new religious movements and cults in America​​.

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