Radical Leftist Nonprofit Pastors for Texas Children Being Investigated by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton for Electioneering

BREAKING: AUSTIN, TX– Radical leftist group Pastors for Texas Children is accused of violating its tax-exempt entity status by engaging in politics. Last week, one concerned PAC filed complaints against the group with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and the IRS.

Pastors for Texas Children (PFTC) describes itself as “a ministry that serves Texas’ neighborhood public schools through prayer, service and advocacy.” 

The organization, led by vehement leftist Reverend Charles Johnson, has a long history of routinely and publicly denigrating “School Choice” as immoral and “white supremacist,” as Katy Christian Magazine reported in October.

Now, PFTC’s vocality in politics may threaten their tax-exempt status as a nonprofit organization. Nonprofits, as stated under section 501(c)(3) of the tax code, are prohibited from directly or indirectly engaging in political campaigns. 

Nonprofits which publicly support or oppose candidates running for office “close to an election” may violate IRS guidelines. If PFTC is found to have violated the tax code, its tax-exempt status may be revoked, and subsequently, it may not qualify for 501(c)(3) status in the future.

Family Empowerment Coalition PAC (FECPAC) brought PFTC’s overstepping to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and the IRS’s attention in an open letter submitted on Feb. 19. 

In this letter, sent via e-filing, FECPAC accused PFTC of improper use of charitable funds for posting overtly political messages on X (formerly Twitter) on multiple occasions.

“FEC PAC is a Texas political committee that supports legislators and candidates who support a brighter future for Texas parents and students,” the letter said. 

“In monitoring and engaging in Texas electoral races- as it is permitted to do given its tax status and registration with the Texas Ethics Commission- FEC PAC has noted an alarming trend of PFTC engaging in political campaign activity. Because PFTC is a section 501(c)(3) organization, this activity violates the Code- as well as IRS implementing regulations and guidance- and warrants investigation to protect the public interest in charity.”

FECPAC board member, philanthropist and native Houstonian Leo Linbeck III posted an excerpt of the letter on his X account on Feb. 21.

“This week, FECPAC filed a complaint with the IRS and AG Ken Paxton against Pastors for Texas Children,” Linbeck wrote. “Pastors for Texas Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and so is prohibited from engaging in electioneering.”

“It appears they have broken the law multiple times. And they’re nasty trolls.”

In the letter, FECPAC, a heavy proponent of school choice initiatives, cites multiple examples of X postings by PFTC which likely violate IRS code. 

“On February 13, 2024, one week before early voting begins, PFTC posted on X, urging the reader to ‘vote for anti-voucher #txlege House R’s in the primary elections!!!’,” the letter states. “Urging people to ‘vote for’ the identified candidates plainly violates the prohibition on political campaign activity by a section 501(c)(3) organization.”

The full document of FECPAC’s 14-page complaint against PFTC can be found here.

PFTC has vocally undermined conservative education reform efforts in Texas for nearly a decade. This radical group of pastor’s object with vengeance to school choice, or education that allows students and families to select alternatives to public schools. 

“At a public meeting in Longview this month, the group’s founder, the Rev. Charles Johnson, said school choice not only promotes segregation, but it’s being supported by Gov. Greg Abbott to ‘underwrite these Christian nationalist, white supremacist academies,’” Katy Christian Magazine reported in October.

“‘It’s sinful,’ the reverend continued brazenly, “‘and for him to do it in the name of Jesus is an outrage.’”

PFTC and Rev. Johnson have loyally upheld disdain for Gov. Greg Abbott for quite some time. The governor has also been the subject of the 501(c)(3)’s X postings on multiple occasions.

“It says a lot about Johnson that he would cast stones at other education sectors, given how racially and economically stratified our public schools have become. I believe the appropriate psychological term is ‘projection,’” senior pastor and person-of-color Charles Flowers remarked last year in disagreement with Rev. Johnson.

Read the full heated debate here.

Texas Pastor Council (TXPC) provided Katy Christian Magazine with the following statement upon learning of the complaint filed with the IRS against Pastors for Texas Children.

“As an actual organization of, by and for pastors who believe that our collective prophetic duties include speaking to laws and lawmakers, who have been very proactive in bringing that voice to key legislative issues such as empowering parents for educational choice, we concur with the complaint that so-called ‘Pastors for Texas Children’ is electioneering in violation of their IRS Section 501 (c) (3) standing,” the statement said.

“Communicating with elected officials and advocating a position on an issue with them is a legitimate part of that nonprofit status,” TXPC asserted.  “Directly and consistently advocating for the election or defeat of elected officials as they have very clearly done should result in the revocation of their 501 (c) (3) letter.”

“The fact is that PTC is a front group funded by government education special interests including teachers’ unions, is a fake pastor group and Pastor Johnson’s rabid defense of government monopoly without options for parents is an abomination to our faith, our families and our educational freedom.”

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