Several former members of House of Prayer Christian Church, now called A Place of Prayer, allege that many high ranking church members and church founder, Rony Denis are involved in real estate fraud and forgery.
Former members Gladys Jordan, Frederick Irwin and others, as well as former HOPCC pastor the Rev. Ray Yorke allege that Denis convinces vulnerable church members into buying homes.
Those houses are then turned over to a property management company run by church member Anthony Oloans via a power of attorney. Oloans is a minister of HOPCC and Denis’ "right-hand man," according to Yorke and several former members.
Oloans has declined comment on the issue.
Former members allege the homes are often used to provide quick cash for the church through refinancing and lines of credit loans. They allege some homes are also allowed to go into foreclosure, ruining the homeowner’s credit, especially those who leave the church. Foreclosed homes are often bought by other church members at and again managed by Oloans.
On hopcc.com, a website created by Yorke for former members, Irwin calls the system a "real estate money factory." He said it started in 2004 or 2005 when Denis refinanced his house.
"The ease of this process…creating quick cash through a refinance and taking out a 2nd mortgage….gave birth to an idea in his mind," Irwin wrote." "‘If I get brothers & sisters who trust me to use their credit and buy houses in their name we can use the same manipulation process for inflated appraisals, refinance the loans, take out home equity lines of credit and create lots of quick cash ‘for the church."’
Irwin said it was Denis’ plan to create a mortgage department, a building crew and a property rental department that was called The People Helping People Group.
Oloans was one of several managing members of a company called People Helping People Group, which included Irwin. Other managing members included Denis and his wife Marjorie and current church officials Gerard Robertson and David Reip.
"People helping People is an organization began by the House of Prayer," Yorke said during a town hall meeting June 21 while addressing the fraud issues and addressing current members of HOPCC who attended the meeting. "It is corrupt and it is used to also to cheat servicemen…"
Yorke said People Helping People has been blacklisted by Fort Lewis. It is also on the off limits list at several other military installations to include Fort Stewart.
Fort Stewart’s Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board off limits list released May 30, includes People Helping People Group and its subsidiaries: Executive Home Rentals, JHS Investments, JT Enterprise, JZS Investments and Peach State Rentals.
According to Ron Elliot, Fort Stewart PAO, the AFDCB said PHP and its subsidiaries have been on the list for a long time. However it was not clear why they were placed on the list. The Courier did find evidence that the companies have been on the list as far back as 2011.
Oloans is now listed as the manager for Centex Management LLC in Allenhurst. The corporation formed in 2006. Reip is listed as the registered agent.
Yorke said opening new companies under different names has been common. He pointed to HOPCC recent change of name and added that, "It looks like they are trying to hide by changing the name of all their churches."
The Courier reached out to Oloans to respond to questions about PHP and Centex and the allegations. The following day the Courier received an email from HOPCC media spokesperson Cesar Vargas who said Oloans, under the advisement of his attorney, would not speak to anyone from the media concerning any issues.