Freedom House Church leaders are not shy when it comes to their support for political candidates, and NC State Board of Elections (NCSBE) records show that Mark Robinson, the North Carolina gubernatorial candidate who has built his platform on a foundation of hate speech and misinformation, has become one of their biggest benefactors.
Penny and Troy Maxwell, who co-founded the megachurch that now has three locations in the Charlotte area, have hosted Robinson multiple times at the church, introducing him as “the next Governor of North Carolina,” in May 2022.
In 2021, they hosted him for a private fundraising dinner at their home where members and leaders of the church were invited to attend, per an invitation viewed by Queen City Nerve.
The combined contributions to Mark Robinson’s campaign from Freedom House Church staff total $10,400 between 2021-2023.
On June 29, 2023, just three days after asking her followers to file complaints to Child Protective Services against mothers in attendance at a local drag brunch, Penny Maxwell made a maximum-allowed contribution of $6,400 to Friends of Mark Robinson, according to NCSBE records.
The records show she also contributed $2,500 to Hal Weatherman’s campaign for Lt. Gov. of N.C. in April 2023.
“I believe all mankind was created in God’s image and that our individual rights derive not from man or man-made governments, but are inherently bestowed upon us by our Creator and are worth preserving,” Weatherman says on his campaign website.
Every odd year, the State Board of Elections is required to calculate and publish the contribution limit based on changes to the consumer price index. The contribution limit for candidates and political committees in North Carolina increased from $5,600 to $6,400 on January 1, 2023.
While the federal tax code exempts certain organizations, including most churches, from taxation providing the church “does not participate in, or intervene in” any “political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office,” as outlined in this opinion piece by trial lawyer Press Millen, there are no laws against church leaders making individual contributions to political candidates or committees.
Troy Maxwell also made a $2,000 contribution to Friends of Mark Robinson, along with $1,000 from campus pastor Aaron Blanton, $500 from executive director of finance and human resources Olan Carder, and $500 from Betty Greco, human resources director and executive assistant to the senior pastors at the church, according to the records.
WRAL reported that Mark Robinson told Freedom House Church worshippers in May 2022 that, “Christians are ‘called to be led by men.’”
“God sent women out … when they had to do their thing, but when it was time to face down Goliath, [He] sent David. Not Davita, David,” he stated in that speech.
The Maxwells are no stranger to politics, however, on both the state and federal levels.
Recent social media posts on both Penny and Troy Maxwell’s Instagram pages, show the church leaders joining former President Donald Trump at his home in Bedminster, N.J. to discuss policies with other evangelical pastors before he had to leave to be arrested in D.C. on his fourth felony indictment, according to the posts.
They have hosted former Vice President Mike Pence at their church, along with other notable Republican talking heads over the past few years. They host chapters of Turning Point USA Faith, a group that aims to inspire young people to put their faith into political action, at each of the church’s campuses.
Locally, the Maxwells have voiced their support for Tyler Lee’s run against Alma Adams in N.C. Congressional District 12 and John Bradford’s run for N.C. House District 98, as well as their diehard support for Robinson.
Through donations and facility rentals totaling $3,130 by Republican Patriots, a “grass-roots club wanting to send true Representatives to Raleigh & Washington,” Freedom House has also hosted private speaking engagements from Republicans Raheem Kassan, Seth Keshel, and Madison Cawthorn between 2021-2022, according to North Carolina State Board of Election records.
In 2021, Troy Maxwell, Carder, Greco, and executive director of ministries Stephanie Blanton made donations totaling $3,500 to Making A Difference in Service to Our Nation PAC. Maxwell donated $2,000 while the others donated $500 each, according to Federal Election Commission records.
MADiSON PAC is a Leadership PAC affiliated with Madison Cawthorn. Cawthorn was the youngest Republican elected to the House of Representatives in 2020, though not derailed by allegations by three young women of his sexual misconduct. Nor was he hampered by his enthusiastic “bucket list” trip to Hitler’s alpine hideaway near Berchtesgaden, from which he posted on social media referring to Hitler as “the Führer.”
His flurry of lies about when and why he was rejected by the U.S. Naval Academy, various gun charges at airports and getting ticketed for driving without a license didn’t slow him down, either.
GOP support only faltered when photos surfaced showing the hyper-Christian paragon of masculinity wearing lingerie and being butt-naked while pantomiming getting a blow job from a guy. He lost his District 11 primary race in 2022 and vacated his office before his term was up.
Troy Maxwell has made numerous contributions to Republicans at the federal level including two contributions to Dan Bishop’s congressional campaign totaling $5,800; $500 to Ted Budd’s Senate campaign; $500 to Dr. Cordie William’s Senate campaign in California; and $500 to Bo Hines’ congressional campaign, according to FEC records.
Dan Bishop was the author of the infamous anti-trans bathroom bill, known as Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act or HB2, in 2016. He is currently running for Attorney General of North Carolina.
“His track record of going after the most vulnerable communities, and amplifying conspiracy theories, shows that he is unfit for office,” said North Carolina Democratic Party Chair Anderson Clayton in a statement after the announcement of his run for AG.
Ted Budd is a member of the Freedom Caucus with Congress’ other extreme conservatives, voted against certifying the 2020 presidential election, pushes for increased border security, and has worked to implement abortion bans and the overturning of Roe v Wade, according to the Charlotte Observer
Williams and Hines also fall in line with these conservative viewpoints.
Penny Maxwell has made a $1,000 contribution at the federal level to support Republican Heidi St. John’s run for the House of Representatives in the 3rd Congressional District in Washington state, according to records.
St. John’s top issues center around the 2nd Amendment, immigration, Critical Race Theory, election fraud, and education. She has “watched the far left move the United States further and further from the foundational truths that made us the greatest country in history,” according to her campaign website.
Neither Penny or Troy Maxwell have made traceable contributions to presidential candidates that Queen City Nerve is aware of.
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