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Western New York church did not get a liquor license

October 29, 2021 GMT

CLAIM: An image of a newspaper article shows that True Bethel Baptist Church in Buffalo, New York, recently became the first church in New York to obtain a liquor license.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. This is not a genuine news article, The Buffalo News confirmed. There’s also no truth to the claim in the fake headline, according to Danetta McKinnon, pastor of administration at True Bethel Baptist Church.

THE FACTS: An image circulating widely on Facebook and Instagram this week purports to show a Buffalo newspaper’s report on a local church receiving a liquor license.

“True Bethel Baptist Church becomes the first Church in NYS to receive a Liquor License: Rev. Darius Pridgen thanks Mayor Brown,” read the fake headline in the image, which was made to look like an issue of The Buffalo News.

“This is in fact a fake story,” said Amy Yakawiak, information specialist at The Buffalo News, who said it wasn’t clear where the false image originated.

The church, too, confirmed that it has not obtained a liquor license.

“This is completely false,” McKinnon said, noting that the bogus claim had been circulating since early September.

An internet search did not reveal any credible news articles making this claim, and a search of the New York State Liquor Authority’s website did not turn up any legitimate liquor license records matching True Bethel Baptist Church.

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This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.