U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre has acknowledged his association with a secretive Christian group in Washington that seeks to influence national and international political figures.
The group, alternately known as The Family, The Foundation or The Fellowship maintains a three-story house called The C Street House that hosts prayer meetings and receptions and is where several Washington lawmakers live, The Wilmington Star-News reports.
The house is registered with the IRS as a church.
McIntyre, a Lumberton Democrat, was responding to press queries following a Salon.com article that named 23 senators, representatives and previous political leaders who have been associated with the C Street House or counseled by the organization.
Though the group says it exists to help lawmakers better understand the teachings of Christ, recently the group has been associated with the sex scandals of three elected officials - Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and former Rep. Chip Pickering, R-Miss.
McIntyre's Washington office sent an email statement about his association with the C Street House: "For several years, I have attended a one-hour weekly Bible study lunch at the C Street House with other Members of Congress who do not live there. This time has always been an opportunity to share our faith and discuss Scripture over a meal. I have never sought counsel from any group associated with or that happens to meet at the house, nor have I been lobbied by any such group."