American Football Pro Promotes Every Nation’s Purple Prose

The Washington City Paper brings us back to a topic that has been an on-going area of enquiry for this blog: the neo-Pentecostal grouping known as Every Nation. Details of interest appear in a profile of a certain Mark Brunell, who is apparently a famous player of American football (links added):

In the fall of 2004, during his lousy first season with the Skins, Brunell was part of a group that included former Jacksonville teammate Tony Boselli that invested in InPop Records…Brunell’s stable of talent includes several righteous rockers who are or were at one time on the fringe of the mainstream music scene, acts such as Newsboys, Mat Kearney, Petra, and Superchick.

…InPop is only the most audible of Brunell’s off-field commercial projects. In the noncommercial vein, he’s long been a frontman for Every Nation, an evangelical organization based in the Nashville area. Other celebrity proselytizers for the ministry include Boselli and former Redskins Tim Johnson and Darrell Green.

…Newsboys’ go-to slogan, featured on the front page of the band’s Web site, is “every tribe, every tongue, every nation.” Newsboys’ last major tour was called the “Have You Done the Purple Book?” campaign. At the shows, attendees were given copies of the “Purple Book,” also known as Biblical Foundations for Building Strong Disciples, which is the handbook that those in the Every Nation flock are tasked with memorizing.

…Brunell is also the public face of a group called Champions for Christ, whose catchphrase is “Every Person. Every Team. Every Sport. Every Nation.”

The report notes that Brunell’s former marketing representative was Greg Feste, who has long-standing links with Every Nation’s leaders. Feste was allegedly “accused of putting the fear of God into Chicago Bears running back Curtis Enis to get him to switch agents.”

There is also a predictably negative quote from Rick Ross, followed by details of a couple of cases where Every Nation has been accused of coercive behaviour. One of these, concerning Hillsboro High School, has been discussed on this blog already; the second, however, is news to me:

…in January, Judy Peters, a former Fairfax County schoolteacher now living in the Pittsburgh area, brought Ross in for an intervention in hopes of deprogramming a daughter who had turned on her kin after being recruited by Every Nation on the Boston University campus.

“Every Nation controlled her entire life, and they were so abusive and coercive,” says Peters. “Everybody who was not a part of their church was dead to her. They brought her to Nashville and put her in a two-bedroom apartment with five girls for what they called ‘training.’ [In Boston] they had her working more than 80 hours a week for the church, most of it fundraising, and for that she was being paid $550 a month…They told her who to trust, who not to believe, who she could hang out with, what she could read—she had to memorize the Purple Book—and what music she could listen to.”

(Hat tip to a reader)