BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Heads began to turn earlier this year when a church in Warrior, Alabama, purchased several parcels of land for $4 million. However, their rapid expansion started well before 2023.
Located in a city with a population of just over 3,000 people, Youth Force Ministries Church International, Inc. boasts over 20,000 followers and 13,000 likes on their Facebook page as of October 9, 2023.
Robin Dale Bullock and wife Robin Rena Bullock (formerly Robin Rena Youngblood) are the leaders of Church International, with Robin R. as the pastor, and Robin D. as “The Prophet.”
The church gained virality when, in 2021, Robin D. prophesied that Trump would return for three more terms.
While their teachings have clearly pulled people in, their land purchases have also recently garnered attention.
On July 24, 2015, YFMCI purchased 420 Thomas St. from James Olin M. and Francis M. It is one of several properties registered under the mailing address “P.O. Box 67 Warrior, AL 35180.”
On October 20, 2015, YFMCI purchased a plot of land 301 3rd St. East from WMW Land LLC for $12,576.
On October 17, 2019, a parcel of land at 320 Thomas Street was sold to the church.
Three years later, the historic Reid Brake House, built in the 1800s and located at 202 Brake Street, was sold for $398,9000 to the same buyers.
On December 3, 2021, the church bought a property located at 301 2nd St. West for $800,000 from Russell Super Market Inc. It’s former mailing address is publicly recorded at 415 Caldwell Drive, the location of a former Piggly Wiggly.
Now, the mailing address is listed as 430 Thomas St., the location of the church.
On August 18, 2022, YFMCI purchased 214 Main St. from a law firm, Wesson & Wesson LLC, for $375,000.
On October 11, 2022, Church International purchased the former Warrior Middle School – located at 492 Poplar Street – from the Jefferson County Board of Education. They paid $144,000 for the property.
The following month, they purchased two houses: one at 101 5th Street East and another at 108 2nd Street East. They sold for $170,000 and $90,000, respectively.
Then, earlier this year on March 22, Church International purchased a string of properties on Louisa Street from John H. Launius of Launius Furniture Co. in the amount of $4 million.
The Birmingham Business Journal reported that, according to Jefferson County Public Records, the properties included 204, 206, 208, 210, 214 and 126 Louisa St. The same report stated the youth organization already had a building located on the opposite side of the street at 133 Louisa St.
The Birmingham Business Journal said the purchasing entity, Youth Force Ministries Church International, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, operated by Robin D. and Robin R. Bullock.
On May 12, 2023, YFMCI purchased 200 2nd St. West from Joseph and Barbara A. Knopf for $150,000.
Most recently, according to public record, the church purchased a building at 100 2nd St. West from K & P Investments LLC for $83,000 on August 25, 2023.
The non-profit’s last publicly available tax documents were filed in 2018, according to the IRS. When asked if the church was under investigation, a representative with the Alabama Department of Revenue (ALDOR) said that it “reserves comment regarding ongoing litigation.”
According to a press release, the Robin D. and Robin R. first met in 1977 in Blount County, where Robin R.’s father pastored at Youngblood Chapel. The pair married in 1979.
In the same press release, Robin D. shared some of his backstory.
“I wanted to get involved and was involved in some gangs,” Robin D. said. “It wasn’t good for me.”
Allegedly, he later had a change of heart when he listened to a Gospel track, which led him and his wife on a mission to “target the youth of Birmingham.”
The same presser, published in 2018, said when Youth Force Ministries Church International Inc. began it was “based on the concept of the army of God” and they worked to create “the militaristic atmosphere” in the old grocery store they met in with decorations and “Christian graffiti.”
“It’s the same concept as me wanting to be in a gang,” Robin D. said in a statement. “They want to belong, so we wanted to create a non-threatening environment where they can belong.”
In 2010, the Cullman Times reported that Church International was moving into a new location. In the article they referred to the previous meeting space as the “Youth Force building.”
The new location, situated at 430 Thomas Street, was the former Farmers Gin and Tractor building, as well as the surrounding 9.2 acres, according to the Cullman Times.
In the article, the Cullman Times reported that Bullock said the City of Warrior, Mayor Rena Hudson, the police department and the fire department, “have always given strong support to Youth Force.”
Since their new building opened, it has rested under the name Church International, a place where people gather on Sundays and Tuesdays to hear Robin R. preach and Robin D. prophesy.
Aside from his proclamations that Trump would return to office, Robin D. made claims during a 2022 sermon that Joe Biden and Anthony Fauci were demonic, and that same year said that Obama was “the duplicate of the antichrist all the way until he left office.”
Historically, Church International’s guests have included the likes of Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman, who spoke during a four-hour service on August 13, 2023.
The Bullocks are also the founders of “Over The Top Bible College,” a $1,200 video course founded in 1996, meant for “students who desire an in-depth study of the topics of Foundation, Consecration, and Revelation.”
The 2018 press release ended with this call-to-action for its readers: “The youth of north Jefferson County, AL, can enlist in the army — the Lord’s army, that is.”