"I had stopped going to church for a while," she says ruefully. "But he used to stop me when he saw me going down the street. He would ask me, am I going to school, and am I still playing basketball? Do I need help with any kind of financial aid?"

She will start classes next semester at Eastfield College. She says the church was a factor in the lives of all the children in her family. "They took us on field trips to the YMCA and out of town two or three times to Colorado, Arkansas and Florida. It taught us a lot of things."

On down the block Doris Malone, 70, answers another door: "He really is good with helping, if people need clothes or food," she says. "People carry their problems to him. He's real good.

"They have an outreach program for the children, too. All three of my children went. They tutor them with their school and carry them on trips they would never be able to go on. They give them incentives to work, too."

Across the street from the church on rags of grass around a battered apartment building, several children pause in their play long enough to tell a stranger that they take part in activities at the church.

During his Observer interview, Broden says he does not espouse the philosophy commonly called "prosperity doctrine," preached by famous televangelists T.D. Jakes, Benny Hinn and Kenneth Copeland.

"Prosperity in the Biblical definition is not that which is defined within the culture today," he says. "We have a tendency to believe that prosperity means materialism in America today. That is not prosperity as God sees it or as I teach it in the word of God. To be prosperous is to know your purpose and your destiny, to connect rightly with your God."

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