FACT CHECK: Did This New York Church Become The First In The State To Receive A Liquor License?

Hannah Hudnall | Contributor

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows a headline from The Buffalo News claiming the True Bethel Baptist Church became the first church in New York to receive a liquor license.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence that the True Bethel Baptist Church received a liquor license. The article appears to be fabricated.

Fact Check:

The image shows what appears to be the front page of a “special election edition” of The Buffalo News in which the headline reads, “True Bethel Baptist Church becomes the first church in NYS to receive a Liquor License: Rev. Darius Pridgen thanks Mayor Brown.” (RELATED: FACT CHECK: Did BBC News Publish This Article About Radiohead Fans?)

The Buffalo News, a daily newspaper based in Buffalo, New York, has previously published stories about the church, which is located in Buffalo. For example, in 2015 the newspaper reported on the church’s plans to operate a food truck for the needy, while in 2016 it reported on the church distributing free winter coats.

There is, however, no evidence the outlet published the story featured in the Facebook post. Check Your Fact searched the outlet’s website for the article but found nothing resembling it. The Buffalo News also hasn’t posted an article to that effect on its Facebook or Twitter account. The image of the purported newspaper appears to be fabricated.

There is likewise no mention of a newly-acquired liquor license on the True Bethel Baptist Church’s Facebook and Twitter pages, nor the Twitter account of Rev. Darius Pridgen, who the image claimed had thanked Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown for the license. There is also no record of the church having a liquor license on the New York State Liquor Authority’s website.

Danetta McKinnon, a spokesperson for the church, told the Associated Press the claim is “completely false.”

Hannah Hudnall

Contributor

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