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. The agitated group of protesters verbally abused several churchgoers.
The protesters reportedly screamed, “Black Lives Matter!” They even yelled at the top of their lungs at families visiting the Church with their children. Troy residents have informed authorities saying that these protests have been on at the Church since the last week of June.
A video posted to Youtube on July 7 shows protesters entering the Church and continuing with their protest without any regard for the Church’s code of conduct. As the protest took an ugly turn, members from within the Church had to line up at the entrance to prevent the protesters from entering.
The leadership of the Grace Baptist Church finds these protests extremely displeasing. Rev. John Koletas has even asked his congregational members to assist all the families visiting the Church.
Protesters have alleged that the Reverend is racist and does not support the colored population. However, Rev. Koletas refuted these claims. He said that the Church has several black members; in fact, one-third of the positions of the Church’s congregation is occupied by blacks.
Videos that surfaced on the internet confirmed the presence of many black members at the Grace Baptist Church. Many black church officials were at the entrance of the Church, trying to calm the rioters down. The protesters also reportedly assaulted the pastor. The church members rushed to the pastor’s protection.
While these protests happened, several shocking stories about the Reverend’s sermons went viral. These sermons seem to provide clarity on why the Grace Baptist Church caught the protester’s attention.
Some people associated with the Church have reportedly provided audio recordings of these sermons. The Reverend is heard exclaiming, “Blacks are cursed” and “Jews are cursed” in these recordings of his sermons. This particular incident seriously provoked the protesters to begin obstructing the service of the Grace Church.
Another incident took place that got the social media raging at the Reverend. Rev. Koletas announced an AR 15 as a prize in a raffle organized by the Church. Many online critics and Troy residents saw this as outrageous, inappropriate, and unethical. Many also reportedly concluded this act as supporting violent and dangerous behavior.
The Reverend, however, seemed unbothered by any criticism regarding the raffle event. He said since Troy is a place filled with many hunters and outdoor people, this incident should not be made a big deal of.
Rev. Koletas has also made other controversial claims. For instance, he was heard saying, “Jesse Jackson is a liar; Al Sharpton is a liar” in one of his online sermons. Pastor Koletas has also reportedly exclaimed, “The day you understand that God Almighty has cursed the black race, the sooner you can start living right.” He has also claimed that Blacks are the least intelligent people in one of his sermons.
These disturbing claims are proven in the actual recordings of the sermons, with one titled “Blacks are Cursed.” This particular sermon and others are available on the official webpage of the Grace Baptist Church. Readers can access these sermon recordings for more proof.
To fuel people’s anger further, Mr. Koletas has also explicitly said in a video that he’s a bigot, racist and would prefer keeping the races separate. This video was recently uploaded to Twitter. The pastor also said that it’s more appropriate to marry someone within their race. He is indicating his disapproval towards all interracial marriages.
The pastor has reportedly informed the media that the protests have calmed down at the Church. He has also announced that even if the protests continue, he and his congregational members will not back down.
People are extremely unhappy with the racist and biased statements made by the pastor in his sermons. Even though it was initially uncertain why the protesters chose the Grace Baptist Church, recent allegations against the teachings and sermons of this Church have raised several questions on its ethics.
The BLM protests have been on for a while and do not seem to quieten down any time soon.