Mayor Troubled over Fouke's Alamo Ties
Purvis: 4 Alamo Followers Running for City Council

September 21, 2008

FOUKE, Ark. — Hours after federal agents raided the compound of evangelist Tony Alamo, Fouke Mayor Terry Purvis said there have been complaints about the ministry since Alamo arrived in town in the late 1990s.

Purvis said the compound started with a convenience store, which later became Alamo's church complex. The facilities still resemble a strip mall, but the group's influence runs deep in the town of about 800 residents.

Purvis said private armed security guards would often patrol the dead-end road that leads up to

the Alamo complex. For at least a time, the church had "Keep Out" signs on its lawn.

Purvis said four members of the Alamo ministries are now vying for City Council seats in the November election.

Since he became mayor, Purvis said he has received calls from former church members with allegations of child abuse, polygamy and underage marriage — information that he forwarded to the FBI.

With the attention that Alamo is drawing, Purvis says he's worried that Fouke will be forever associated with the raid.


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