Christian actor Stephen Baldwin in 2017 with spokesperson A. Larry Ross, board member of the secretive religious group, known as The Family, that runs the National Prayer Breakfast.

 

(Image: Photo via A. Larry Ross Communications.)

Inside the Family

Stephen Baldwin’s Other Family

The Secretive Religious Group Behind the Scenes of a Christian Actor's Journey

One of a series about the Fellowship Foundation, the secretive religious group that runs the National Prayer Breakfast and is popularly known as The Family. This series is based on Family documents obtained by TYT, including lists of breakfast guests and who invited them.

In his 2006 book, “The Unusual Suspect,” Stephen Baldwin chronicles his faith journey. The Christian actor also thanks people who were part of that journey. One of them is “fellow soldier” Todd Hendricks.

Seven years later, Baldwin made Hendricks one of the principals of his new nonprofit, Friends of Stephen Baldwin Ministry. Hendricks, a Pennsylvania real-estate developer, has also been active with The Family.

In fact, all three principals listed in the 2013 formation of Friends of Stephen Baldwin Ministry have ties to The Family. And after Baldwin met MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, one of those principals would join Lindell’s philanthropic efforts.

See main story: How Mike Lindell Found Jesus Christ...and Donald Trump

As TYT reported, multiple people associated with The Family, including a Family board member, played pivotal roles in Lindell’s transformation from an apolitical, casual Christian to the conservative theocrat convinced he is now doing God’s will by crusading to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Baldwin’s ties to The Family, however, extend beyond the Lindell connections.

Another principal at Baldwin’s ministry was Wilfred Job, pastor at a Texas church that served a large Filipino-American constituency, who worked with Hendricks on Family activities. Along with Hendricks, Job invited 29 people to the 2016 National Prayer Breakfast (NPB).

It was Hendricks who invited Baldwin and his wife to that year’s breakfast -- along with his daughter, Hailey, and Justin Bieber, who apparently had other plans, as they are listed as not attending. (Baldwin’s first National Prayer Breakfast was 2015, but it’s not clear whether he was invited by Hendricks or someone else.)

But if Hendricks was Baldwin’s fellow soldier, Job was Baldwin’s fellow traveler.

In 2014, Job appeared in Poland media accounts of a visit there by Baldwin. Job is named as a “special guest” at a Christian fundraiser Baldwin attended there.

The same year, Miami’s then-Mayor Tomás Regalado honored Baldwin along with “Rev. Wilfred Job.” The two were recognized for their “humanitarian aid for the persecuted.” (A LinkedIn posting by a would-be screenwriter pitching a script to Baldwin refers to Wilfred Job as Baldwin’s “assistant.”)

Baldwin also traveled to Job. In 2013, Job hosted Baldwin at his church in Texas, along with Filipino actor Hayden Kho. (Kho, an evangelical Christian, was invited by Hendricks to the 2016 prayer breakfast).

Baldwin’s connection to the Philippines goes back. He’s a big fan of boxer Manny Pacquiao, another prayer breakfast alum, who even spoke at the 2015 breakfast. (Pacquiao is an opponent of same-sex marriage, but has said he is sorry for calling people in same-sex relationships “worse than animals.”)

Baldwin had met Pacquiao as early as 2013, when he visited the boxer in Macau after a bout. In 2016, Baldwin and Lindell flew to Las Vegas, where they had ringside seats for Pacquiao’s unanimous-decision victory over Jessie Vargas.

Baldwin also met Pres. Rodrigo Duterte -- another Hendricks invitee to the 2016 NPB. After Duterte’s presidential election that year, Human Rights Watch found that Duterte unleashed a “human rights crisis” that “deepened” in 2018. It was during a 2018 trip to the Philippines that Baldwin visited Duterte, telling a TV interviewer he was “very impressed” and calling Duterte a “loving, concerned family man.”

Baldwin had met Kho, the Filipino actor, through an evangelical author and speaker named Ravi Zacharias, founder of an international ministry. Baldwin includes Zacharias in his book’s acknowledgments along with Hendricks -- who invited other Filipino followers of Zacharias besides Kho. A Zacharias staffer was also invited to both the 2016 and 2018 NPBs, as a media guest).

Before his death last year, Zacharias preached against homosexuality. His memorial service was attended by VP Mike Pence and evangelical NFL star Tim Tebow.

(Earlier this year, a law firm hired by Zacharias’ ministry confirmed sexual assault allegations made against him following his death. The report concluded that people around him enabled the abuse and that Zacharias used “humanitarian” funds to support four massage therapists. The report’s authors said they had “little insight into whether Mr. Zacharias engaged in inappropriate massage behavior when in Asia.”)

Other acknowledgments in Baldwin’s book include James Dobson’s son, Ryan -- who once said “I don’t think gay marriage is good for America” -- and the Luis Palau Association. A major international evangelist, Palau was a same-sex marriage opponent who also had Family connections. In 2018, Palau was honored at a Portland Business Luncheons event moderated by the president of the Family’s board and her husband, a previous Family board member.

(The Luis Palau Association in 2014 reportedly said it no longer wanted to emphasize opposition to same-sex marriage. “We don’t want to be known for what we’re against,” said Palau’s son, who produced a 2004 Christian skateboarding movie with Baldwin.)

Five months after the 2016 prayer breakfast, Baldwin, Lindell, and Job teamed up to form a new nonprofit, the Giving Grace Church in Texas. (It was shut down two years later.)

Like many close to The Family, Baldwin incorporates his faith into his work, acting in and producing Christian movies. In 2017, Baldwin had plans to make a movie of Lindell’s life that, Baldwin promised, wouldn’t be “cheesy.” To date, no such movie exists.

Baldwin and Lindell, however, did work together on a movie that came out this year, “Church People.” A third person working on the movie was publicist A. Larry Ross, who also joined Baldwin and Lindell for dinner in Vegas after the Pacquiao fight.

Ross also represents Baldwin, and is a spokesperson for and board member of The Family.

Jonathan Larsen is TYT’s managing editor. You can find him on Twitter @JTLarsen.

With additional research and reporting by TYT Investigates News Assistant Zoltan Lucas and Intern Jamia Zarzuela, and assistance from members of the TYT Army.

If you have tips on this subject or others you can contact us using Proton Mail at [email protected]. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to stay on top of exclusive news stories from The Young Turks.

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