UNDATED (AP) — A leader of a secretive evangelical congregation has persuaded a magistrate to issue trespassing charges against a North Carolina state senate candidate who brought supporters and a TV crew along to a scheduled meeting at the church.

Democratic candidate David Wheeler says the leader of the Word of Faith Fellowship invited him to visit the church in Spindale, North Carolina, which has been accused of beating congregants to expel demons. Wheeler says Jane Whaley and other members invited him so he could see for himself that it is an open and loving church.

But when Wheeler arrived with a former congregant, a church critic and reporters, he was told to leave. The church says Wheeler barged in before the appointed time and brought along uninvited church critics. Now he and two others have been summoned to court on their trespassing complaint.