HEPHZIBAH, Ga. (WJBF) – Thursday the FBI raided Assembly of Prayer Christian Church off Old Tobacco Road in South Augusta.
The church sign reads, “We came here to pray,” but Thursday the FBI came to search.
The FBI says they cannot release the reason for the search warrant, as the investigation is ongoing.
Neighbors say they have questions.
“Oh I was surprised, shocked,” Thedotis Brickhouse said. “I just see them out everyday, I mean not every day, but I see them out weekly cutting the grass and having services, but I ain’t never suspect nothing like that.”
“It’s just very hurtful to hear that something like this has happened,” Nikki Thomas added.
Several neighbors say they believe the FBI’s involvement was not a matter of if, but when.
One woman, who did not want to go on camera, described the church as “cult-like.” She says she believes members and children are living at the facility.
Others say the raid did come as a shock.
“I was so surprised man. It’s just crazy the world we live in, everything that’s going on today. And to think, it’s happening in the house of God,” Brickhouse said.
No arrests have been made.
According to media reports, federal agents raided at least three churches near military installations across the Southern US Thursday, including the Assembly of Prayer Christian Churches in Killeen, Texas and Hinesville, Georgia. The FBI confirms the investigations in Hephzibah and Hinesville are related.
NewsChannel 6 reached out to Assembly of Prayer for comment, and they have not gotten back to us.