Hammond declined to comment for this story, but several churchgoers expressed their complete trust in their pastor's scruples, and characterized the court battle as persecution. "The investigation is politically motivated," says Paul Gavick, a plumber from Coon Rapids who has attended Living Word for 15 years. A 55-year-old woman, who would identify herself only as Mary from Elk River, agreed. "I think that Pastor Mac has enough with his lawyers and accountants to know what he's doing," she said.
Clearly, Hammond has no intention of keeping quiet about politics while in the pulpit. In a not-so-subtle nod to the upcoming election, he ended last Sunday's sermon by declaring, "I'm Mac Hammond, and I approve this message."