“I learned how to fight and play basketball pretty good,” he said. Pastor John Koletas said the church held the giveaway to honor hunters and gun owners who have “been so viciously attacked by anti-Christian socialist policies,” news station WNYT reported. Over the last few years, McCashion’s demeanor and tactics began to turn darker. News Media Silent As BLM Storms Church To Brutally Assault Pastor, Harass Children By Amanda Prestigiacomo July 8, 2020. Grace Baptist has always met in Lansingburgh, the long, skinny neck of Troy that stretches north along the Hudson River. The persecution is the point. White people do live in Lansingburgh. In the capital area, the Black Lives Matter movement had been brewing for years. Those classes were referred to as “B school.” Many IFB members believe in the “curse of Ham,” which has historically been used to justify slavery. They posted an image of the witch casting a spell against racists with the caption “BLACK MAGIC MATTERS.” They retweeted praise from community members, and the first story from the local Fox News affiliate, but the story didn’t spread outside of the area. This common sleep aid may prevent coronavirus, Chrissy Teigen gets cheeky on St. Barts vacation, New details revealed about Louisiana congressman-elect's cause of death, What we know about the woman given homes by the Nashville bomber, Nurse suspended after stripping off PPE to have sex with COVID-19 patient. But that didn’t mean he didn’t borrow some of their tactics. For the first 25 years, the congregation met in the building that Koletas had purchased in the church’s early years. “But that mentality — it feels like you’re born for conflict. Medina didn’t go in: She’s Muslim, and refused to “slap the ham” as required by the church before entrance. I went door to door, and I let everyone know that they were trying to bring liquor into our county. The belligerence is the point. The Daily Wire reports that members of Grace Baptist Church in Troy, New York, many of whom were women and children, were harassed by Black Lives Matter protestors as they entered the church for a Sunday Morning service on July 5, 2020.. Bruce Gerencser … “I knew it was a trap,” Lukee Forbes, one of the leaders of the local Black Lives Matter movement, told me. The 2014 giveaway was in response to New York's SAFE Act and stricter gun laws, the Times Union said, adding that … Share. But many in Troy were appalled: The town had been racked with gun violence for years, and local faith leaders and public officials had organized gun buy-backs to get firearms off the street. The more alienating Koletas was, the more righteous his teachings. The flyer advertising Grace Baptist Church's AR-15 giveaway on June 29. He has no organizational support, no larger church governing body, no one to answer to — except, he’d say, God. In practice, this meant the scene was what one protester described as “beautifully chaotic,” with Wiccans practicing rituals alongside a chanting of the kaddish. — Grace Baptist Church (@realgbctroyny) July 3, 2020 In another video, a church member attempts to go up the church steps but is assaulted by protesters. Stafford won a voucher from the church to purchase an AR-15 at the Oakwood Trading Post in Troy. That attitude was only possible because of Koletas’s overarching independence: from any sort of church governing body, but also from the need for tithing members. Grace Baptist, led by pastor John Koletas, has given away rifles at least twice before — in 2014 and again in 2017, the paper reported. Most news outlets covering this story focused on the Black Lives Matter protesters attacking churchgoers; local New York news focused on the church gun giveaway as a trigger for those protests. “I know the pain and the hurt that’s in your heart,” he told them. In a photo of him following a court appearance, syndicated in papers throughout the capital area, he’s young, dapper-looking, dressed in a dark suit. The agitated group of protesters verbally abused several churchgoers. Some of the protesters wear masks; others have pushed them down to yell. But according to journalist Tyler A. McNeil, who documented the service, the protesters first had to sit through sermons from George Koletas, who described the protesters as “hoodlums” and “cowards,” as well as a visiting pastor. “I think a lot of people on the outside look at an IFB pastor and think, Oh, he’s just like the Methodists, or the Presbyterians,” Bruce Gerencser, a former IFB pastor, told me. Sitemap As soon as he starts preaching — behind the pulpit or in the streets — he becomes a different person. On my college campus, the local street preachers used to stand on the sidewalk outside the student union building, telling everyone who passed that they were damned. The church had previously raffled off assault rifles, hosting giveaways at least twice before in 2014 and again in 2017, WRGB reported. Anyone who disagreed was either damned or, in IFB terms, “backsliding.” Other IFB churches think you’re too extreme? It was printed in black and white, with graphics that look at least a decade out of date. In mid-July, Forbes found out he’d been laid off from his job with the city. Black Lives Matter (BLM) activists have been attacking churchgoers at the Grace Baptist Church in Troy, New York since the end of June. A video of BLM protesters chanting their titular slogan while invading Grace Baptist Church in Troy, New York has gone viral on social media. Over the past year, their shared tone was adopted by the church’s Facebook account, where video titles went from the provocative but somewhat opaque (“Nakedness Defined: Hellywood”) to boldly offensive clickbait (“Jungle, African Music Are Ruining Our Churches,” “Fat is SIN!”). (The ham had been stolen by protesters the day before and allegedly been fed to a dog; on Monday, it had been replaced by sliced hot dogs.) “I would stand right across the street and preach again these deluded Catholics, with their gambling and their beer guzzling,” he recalled. But like any piece of local media that goes viral on a national level, the video is missing years — in truth, decades — of context. John Koletas leaves Grace Baptist Church in Troy, N.Y., where he presides. Videos of protesters yelling, “This is no house of God” went viral as the Black Lives Matter's protests reached the Grace Baptist Church in Troy, New York. We are an old fashioned church, preaching the old time religion. “There were never signs on the door that said No Blacks Permitted,” Gerencser said, “but it was made known, in some churches, that Blacks weren’t welcome.” IFB members would sanction Black believers marrying each other, but not a Black church member marrying one of their white daughters. The look is similar to another old photo that currently serves as the banner on the church’s Facebook page: In this one, Koletas is on the street, his Bible in hand, his mouth open in a yell, and a camera crew stands to the side, filming it all. Grace Baptist Church. Willie Bacote, a pastor of Missing Link AME Zion Church in Troy, NY, near Grace Baptist Church, told the New York Daily News he thought Pastor Koletas’ event sends “the wrong message entirely. Koletas rejected all of that. Or they would send their kids to Bob Jones University, where interracial dating was banned until 2000. “It’s extreme poor taste, the time that they decided to raffle off a rifle when we have all of the shootings going on in all of our communities,” protester Steven Negron told the outlet. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is,” the flyer proclaims, “there is liberty.”. “I don’t think there’s a pastor out there who’s to the right of my dad,” his daughter said. According to Koletas lore, retold in sermon after sermon, back in 1987, he was driving around the capital area, saw the broken windows and dilapidation of Troy, and decided to start a church there. He says it’s for safety, and I say, ‘What?’”. Wretched Sinnner. “We will never back down from wickedness in Troy, NY!” the church tweeted. “But if you would’ve called us a bunch of racists,” Gerencser said, “there would have been objections.”. Yeah, I would,” Adam Pelletier, a BLM protester who lives in Lansingburgh, told me. The Black Lives Matter mob harassed and assaulted members of Grace Baptist Church in Troy, New York last week in a despicable spectacle, both outside and inside the church. The repeated suggestion: Here’s what BLM really is. There are even a handful of Black IFB pastors. Medina said she initially intended to blow the whole thing off. Ron Stafford, 42, won the gun. At Gerencser’s church outside of Detroit, they’d run buses into the city to pick up Black kids. The incident occurred at Grace Baptist Church early on Sunday where protesters tried to block the entrance to the church, which was giving away an AR-15 rifle, while holding bullhorns and shouting in the faces of congregants standing on the steps outside … The Albany County district attorney called it “one of the strangest things I’ve seen.”. She started researching online, and saw that the giveaway was, in fact, legal. “They’re much more radical, and don’t put up with the same shit,” one member of the movement, who chose not to comment publicly because of her job, told me. The protesters knew Koletas was a racist. Today, those buildings are the exact sort of thing people want to transform into lofts or coffee shops with reclaimed wood tables. On May 28, Grace Baptist tweeted for the first time: The church would be giving away another AR-15. When she looks around her neighborhood, she sees no place to get fresh fruit or vegetables. “This is the house I grew up in!” he captioned the photo. She called a contact at the Troy Police Department, who told her that they knew all about it, and that the church had pulled a similar stunt in the past. They’re belligerent and arrogant — and they don’t care if you think that they’re in bad taste. John Koletas is seen at his daughter's wedding in this undated handout photo. “He screams so loud — people don’t want to walk by.”. The trial had been covered in detail by the local press, and since his release, Forbes has been open about his past, which, he told me, “is something that troubles me and moves me forward.” Back when he was 15, Forbes stood by and did nothing. I have a lawyer, and the front page tomorrow is going to say: ‘Local Sheriff Throws Pastor in Jail for Preaching the Gospel.’”. And Lukee Forbes is an employee of the City of Albany in one of its youth programs. In June 2019, he was temporarily taken off the air by the station after posting a tweet that included pictures of a recent shooting victim holding stacks of money and the comment “another. Sometimes the outrage feels undeniable. He’s gone to schools to speak about his past. He provided contact information so followers could email and call his employer. About 75 people showed up to Grace Baptist on March 24, 2014, and submitted their names for the giveaway. Koletas was the only one they could find. For 15 minutes, Koletas offered his “message to the protesters.” He said he grew up in a neighborhood that was 85% Black, and 95% of his friends growing up were Black. “But they’re really not. In June, Koletas’s father fatally shot his mother in a dispute in their New Jersey home, which, in his daughter’s words, “really shaped a lot of how my dad to this day thinks, believes, preaches, and reacts to everything.” In September, Irene gave birth to the first of the couple’s six children. And he was, according to his daughter, delighted. “Everyone just goes along with my dad because he can be very antagonistic, very confrontational … and they just don’t want to push his buttons. Koletas essentially created a feedback loop of infallibility. During the massive Troy protest, his group helped identify and direct police to a group of armed men in military gear and bulletproof vests; one of their vehicles was discovered with two AR-15s and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Grace Baptist Church (@Realgbctroyny) in Troy, New York had an angry mob chanting "This is what democracy looks like!" She decided they had to do something. Everyone who entered the church had been asked to sign an agreement not to film in the church. “The whole theology is based on fear,” Ryan Burge, a professor of political theory and a Baptist pastor, told me. And you can always convince yourself you’re being persecuted.”. McCashion has been described as Troy’s “resident gadfly,” a “shock jock,” and, as one of his local adversaries put it to me, “a real dick.” From 3 to 6 p.m., you can find him on his local talk show, ROAD RAGE. It’s just like, oh, that’s just crazy Johnny.”. Forbes has become synonymous with the capital-area Black Lives Matter movement. He owned the church building. I was Pastor Motherfucker. 146,501, This story has been shared 123,365 times. John Koletas (right) raffled off an semiautomatic weapon at Grace Baptist Church in upstate Lansingburgh on Sunday. Ronald Stafford, of Schenectady, New York, (left) and Pastor John Koletas are interviewed by media, March 23, 2014. “And I think most of the other people would too. Forbes, then 15, had admitted to breaking off the tree branch that was used by the other two men in the crime. — Grace Baptist Church (@realgbctroyny) July 6, 2020 Lukee Forbes, is one of the people who fomented violence with a bullhorn and allegedly physically attacked individuals at the church in Troy, NY last Sunday. A cursory Google search reveals that before joining BLM, Forbes spent seven years locked up for participating in the brutal beating of a 30-year-old man walking home after Albany Pride. Ginger dishes on Mary Ann after 'Gilligan's Island' star's death. Others choose to preach outside movie theaters, at concerts, and state fairs. Forbes led them out of the sanctuary, many of their arms crossed, chanting “Black lives matter.” George Koletas confronted a protester attempting to film in the sanctuary, and a police officer separated them. The conflagration at Grace Baptist, then, is what happens when that sort of visibility is what its targets crave most. But as soon as he starts preaching — behind the pulpit or in the streets — he becomes a different person. Don’t tell me that I don’t understand your pain or your hurt!”, “I love you,” he told the protesters, “as much as I love the Troy cops.”. But the giveaway had attracted the attention of someone whose style complemented Koletas’s — and who knew how to translate the pastor’s trolling skills to the internet. “From ‘Those protesters are pissed off communists,’ to ‘Here’s what this church is actually preaching.’ That right there — that’s the real story.” ●. A church service was interrupted at Grace Baptist Church in Troy, New York by a Black Lives Matter protest. But often, it feels manufactured: planned, promoted, captured, and captioned to inflame the most people possible, local skirmishes designed to be folded into the national culture war. But Koletas was different — in pretty much every way imaginable. Most IFB pastors grew up in the church. Protesters and churchgoers clashed outside a church in Troy, New York on Sunday, prompting police to intervene to deescalate tensions. It is loud, and confrontational, and urgent. They’re at once overseers and underwriters, disciplinary bodies and insurance agents. 1400 N. Market St. After decades of white flight and generalized urban blight, downtown Troy has recently experienced a gentrification-fueled renaissance — the phrase “Troy is the new Brooklyn,” with all its various connotations, echoes off the restored brick buildings, much to the annoyance of pretty much everyone, including the Brooklyners who’ve moved there. Grace Baptist Church reserves the right to refuse anyone of questionable character for whatever reason from winning the free NY-modified and legal AR-15. In Albany, Gov. Grace Baptist has always met in Lansingburgh, the long, skinny neck of Troy that stretches north along the Hudson River. Everyone in his family was Greek Orthodox. He mocks sexual abuse victims and the #MeToo movement. His social media, where he employs a unique, almost haiku style of constant news commentary, became more combative, more conspiratorial, often interspersed with verses from the KJV Bible. There was no discernible bump in attendance. Others involved in the larger BLM movement had already heard through social media about what was happening. “But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a healthy strain of racism that runs through the IFB church movement,” Bruce Gerencser, the former IFB pastor, told me. “You got the witches on the ground. Today, pastors like Koletas point to the manifestations of centuries of systemic racism — poverty, reduced life expectancy, drug use, gun violence — and interpret them as evidence of God’s enduring curse. Tasheca Medina lives just a few blocks from the church in Lansingburgh. He didn’t have any training as a pastor. That Sunday might have been the end of the story. But in 2012, it moved to a new building: a once-beautiful brick structure that had been home to Mills Memorial Baptist Church for more than a century. Why is the mob beating church members in Troy, NY for … On Sunday, June 7, thousands gathered at the Riverfront Park in Troy, New York, to take a peaceful stand against police brutality. In person, Koletas is, as his daughter put it, a sort of Dr. Jekyll and Rev. A Black Lives Matter mob of rioters stormed Grace Baptist Church in Troy, New York, reportedly in retribution for an AR-15 giveaway organized by Pastor John Koletas, requiring members of the congregation to guard a black family as they entered the church. But now that they have, there’s energy and anger and a refusal to look the other way. His name was Kevin McCashion. Christianity is now under physical assault by radical left wing terrorism. Want to see more stories like this? Bruce Gerencser doesn’t live in Troy. TROY - A Troy church is facing backlash after giving away an AR-15 at Sunday's service. Baptist Extremist. Videos posted on social media show parishioners, both black and white, being harassed and physically assaulted at Grace Baptist Church in Troy, New York. Mainline churches are part of larger governing bodies; these bodies are responsible for everything from official doctrine and liturgy to helping facilitate ministerial placement. The remaining church members wanted to give the building to another church, any church. You’re doing something right. And now we’re the bad guys. But the more she thought about it, the more she thought, This isn’t right. “Peaceful” protestors disrupt church service with profanity and violence while pastor gives the gospel message. After the June 29 service, both Grace Baptist Church and Kevin McCashion, the radio shock jock, immediately began tweeting video and images from the scene outside the church. But listen, I have no illusions about actually getting that place shut down, or getting it closed.” Pelletier said that some people in the group are looking into potential code violations on the part of Grace Baptist, looking into nonprofit status, trying to find some way to compel the government to do something about them. “And I decided to make an issue out of that. This story has been shared 107,095 times. “The only way to victory, if that’s even a possibility, is to shift the narrative,” Pelletier said. Grace Baptist is not the sort of Baptist church most people would associate with the denomination. Street preaching is different than a guy handing you a pamphlet and kindly asking you if you know about his cool pal Jesus. Grace Baptist Church in Troy, New York, has posted dozens of videos of the treatment that Christians are subjected to for simply attending services. “Oh my God, did it cause conflict. He was on the cover of the New York Daily News. A mob has repeatedly gathered in front of the church and shouted at worshippers as they enter the building, intimidating them, and getting quite aggressive. “I am a leader of a leaderless movement,” he wrote in the introductory post to a tea party blog hosted by the Times-Union. But according to one of his daughters, recently interviewed on a podcast for people who’ve left the IFB church, none of his extended family members remember any Marxist or socialist politics. “What he said, went,” his daughter said. The piece of paper with the name of the man who did win — Ron Stafford, from nearby Schenectady — was the fourth drawn from the pile. Caso não concorde com o uso cookies dessa forma, você deverá ajustar as configurações de seu navegador ou deixar de acessar o nosso site e serviços. Several observers told me that they were surprised, given the history of the Troy Police Department, that protests hadn’t really erupted until now. On the church’s website, he declared the raffle was meant to “honor hunters and gun owners who have been so viciously attacked by the antichristian socialist media and antichristian socialist politicians over the last few years.”. As part of the directive to separate yourself from the world, IFB members don’t watch movies or television, or listen to “secular” music — including Southern gospel music. This is the second time the … A church service was interrupted at Grace Baptist Church in Troy, New York by a Black Lives Matter protest. This story has been shared 123,365 times. So did RT, the state-controlled Russian propaganda network. The story earned very similar media pickups as the giveaways in Kentucky, and Koletas was featured in dozens of articles. The message of the coverage was a variation on the same theme: This is the real BLM, and they’re coming for your churches next. The day of the video, the church was hosting its second AR-15 “raffle” in two days: In the middle of a neighborhood stricken with gun violence, the church was giving away one of the deadliest guns on the market. Below are several video clips from GBC’s twitter feed,… “An AR-15 is completely unnecessary in this community. Troy, Ohio 45373 I 937.339.2019 I email@example.com. But Koletas’s posture and strategy are deeply familiar to him. Even as a hunting rifle I mean that’s not really the type of rifle used to hunt.”. Protesters were outside the Grace Baptist Church on 4th Avenue. But as nouveau bourgeois as downtown Troy has become, the renewal aesthetic fades within blocks. Starting July 3, McCashion also started posting about Lukee Forbes. In his July 5 sermon, describing the interactions with the protesters, Koletas told the church, “We could not have planned it any better.”. They listened while the congregation sang “America the Beautiful” and to a recording of Patrick Henry’s address to the Second Virginia Convention. The primary way BLM protesters target these entities is by directing attention: They show up, they refuse to shut up, they make things visible. The pastor also told parishioners that baggy pants hanging down below the waist, and Antifa-like apparel is not allowed in church. Troy is just across the Hudson River from Albany. The flyer advertising the AR-15 giveaway wasn’t fancy. According to reports the harassment started at the end of June. Gerencser grew up in Ohio, and the churches he pastored were always slightly more mainstream than Grace Baptist. He just thinks of his entire life, pre-IFB, as unspeakably liberal. She doesn’t see rec centers, or pools, or anything to keep kids occupied and out of trouble. Tweets Deleted for grammatical errors only - No apologies.” (George Koletas did not respond to a request for an interview). In 1983, two weeks after Irene turned 18, John and Irene were married. BLM might have “lost” on the national optics on this particular protest action. One neighbor, she said, once told the pastor she very much did not approve of what he was doing. Dawn Wells, Mary Ann on 'Gilligan’s Island,' dead at 82 after COVID-19 battle, Christina Milian says she owes her pregnancy to Rihanna’s lingerie, Gabrielle Union twins with her daughter Kaavia in neon bathing suits, Tom Hanks shows off ‘horrible’ bald haircut for ‘Elvis’ role, Olivia Jade says she’ll be back to YouTube in 2021, An airline lost all of Chris Appleton’s hairdressing gear before a Kim Kardashian appointment, Tina Louise, last surviving ‘Gilligan’s Island’ star, reveals truth about Dawn Wells, © 2020 NYP Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved, Man freed without bail for waving gun — gets busted again with pistol, Gunman arrested in slaying of 16-year-old boy outside Bronx deli, Armed woman thwarts attempted carjacking by four suspects, NYC residents can't get gun permits due to George Floyd protests: source, Howard Rubenstein, famous NYC publicist, dead at 88, NYC restaurants are bracing for street chaos on Election Day, Home Chef's New Year’s deal takes $90 off first four boxes, Get iRobot, KitchenAid at a discount with eBay's new program, Lululemon launches holiday specials for You Don't Want Best I can tell it appears to have happened on the 28th. He hates Catholics and thinks Muslims shouldn’t be allowed in the country. Two days after the USA Today article was published, he announced that Grace Baptist would be holding a similar giveaway in Troy — only he’d be giving away an AR-15. Even better. He has repeatedly tagged Forbes’ supervisor at the City of Albany. And I defeated it! He’d yell so loudly, and persistently, that local business owners filed official complaints. To Miss This event, Save 20 percent on this personal heater with a detachable hand warmer, This projector lets you turn any room into your own personal galaxy, Video shows California cop punching his police dog partner, Like Hilaria, Alec Baldwin also changed his name. No checks and controls.” Koletas thought most Baptists — including the IFB variety — were still too liberal. If you’ve seen street preaching before, maybe you get it. After the pastor of Mills Memorial died in 2006, the dwindling congregation struggled to cover the growing cost of repairs. The small worship service was underway when about ten or so protestors walked into the church and announced "black lives matter." “I walked up, and I was like, ‘What the hell is going on?’” Medina recalled. But I was so distraught, because we couldn’t do a thing.”. But he’s been following Koletas, and dozens of other IFB pastors, for years. 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