Voters appeared to reject Andrew Wommack’s plan to “take over” the city of Woodland Park, Colo., on Tuesday, electing a new mayor and four city council members who prevailed over candidates the health-and-wealth preacher endorsed.

“We’re going to be Woodland Park again!” said Steve “Smitty” Smith, one of the four winning council candidates. Kellie Case was elected mayor in an election that saw a record number of votes.

“Truly, it feels like a new day now for our beleaguered mountain town,” said one city resident who helped organize a discussion on Christian nationalism in February, but requested anonymity over concern about threats from Wommack’s followers.

“Townspeople are generally elated as well as a bit shocked,” said the longtime resident. “Andrew Wommack and all of his money and advertising smear campaigns did not make an overwhelming dent in the course of these races. The people of Woodland Park have spoken, and they want to retain control of the future direction of their town rather than hand over the reins to an aggressive (if not cultish) Bible college and international ministry.”

Wommack moved his Charis Bible College to the city of 8,000 west of Colorado Springs a decade ago. In 2017, he launched his political group, Truth and Liberty Coalition. In 2021, he publicly announced his plan to use his students and employees to “take over” the mountain city.

“Man, as many people as we have in this school here, we ought to take over Woodland Park,” he said at a 2021 Truth and Liberty rally. “This county ought to be totally dominated by believers.”

Wommack’s candidates successfully captured the local school board, quickly alienating many school employees and parents.

Now, Christian believers who are not affiliated with Wommack are among those pushing back against his crusade after previously being caught unaware.

“We were sitting ducks,” said one conservative Christian resident, who also requested anonymity. “This was all brand new to me, this idea of Christians taking over. I had no idea what would happen to our local schools, and I’ve been in utter shock and grief.”

Wommack’s candidates also were elected to the city council, including one councilor who said his faith prevented him from voting in favor of an updated city comprehensive plan.

Some residents assumed the more than 1,000 people who are employed by Wommack’s ministry or attend Charis gave the radio and TV preacher an insurmountable numerical advantage.

“We have enough people here in this school we could elect anybody we want,” Wommack said in 2021.

This week, however, voters rejected his slate of candidates, most of whom sought to conceal their connections to the controversial preacher.

But Colorado Times Recoter columnist Logan Davis revealed their identities in a March article.

Candidate Eric Lockman moved to Woodland Park to study at Charis but left that information out of his candidate bio. His bio said he works at a local church but omitted the fact that the church meets on Wommack’s campus.

Candidate Tim Northrup studied at Charis and has worked as one of Wommack’s phone ministers since 2019, but his candidate bio omitted that info, instead referring to his earlier work in the tech industry.

Incumbent candidate Frank Connors also scrubbed references to Wommack and Charis from his bio, according to Logan.

A fourth Wommack-endorsed candidate released a statement saying, in part: “I have no involvement with them.”

Wommack was mentored by the prosperity gospel preacher Kenneth Copeland, and Focus on the Family helped him organize his Truth and Liberty Coalition.

He did not attend college or seminary and is not formally ordained by any religious body. He is briefly featured in American Gospel: Christ Alone, a documentary claiming the prosperity gospel movement distorts Christ’s gospel in the U.S. and around the world.

Sharon Roshek, a longtime local Realtor who calls herself an “extremely conservative evangelical Republican,” voted for Wommack’s candidates in 2021 and “never thought much of it.” But said she would oppose his candidates in future races.

“They appear to be battling a national agenda that does not exist in Woodland Park,” she told Religion News Service last November. “It is sad, sad, sad that people in this community now hate Christians” because Wommack and his followers have tried to move the city “so far to the right.”

In February, Wommack hosted a group of pro-Trump “prophets” who claim Almighty God wants Donald Trump to make America great again.

Before that gathering, Wommack said if Trump is elected in 2024, his win might cause a civil war: “But would it be worth it to turn this nation back? I believe it would.”

This article was originally published in the Baptist News Service.