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MAGA Pastor Says ‘200 Bibles’ Set Ablaze Outside His Church on Easter Morning

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A burning trailer full of Bibles was left outside an evangelical church in Tennessee on Easter morning, according to local police, with the church’s far-right pastor denouncing it as a “100 percent” deliberate act.

Around 6 a.m. on Sunday, police and firefighters responded to a trailer fire at an intersection outside the Global Vision Bible Church in Mount Juliet, a city around 20 miles east of Nashville, according to the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office. Firefighters “promptly extinguished” the blaze, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

“The trailer, containing bibles, had been dropped off in the middle of the intersection and then intentionally set on fire,” it said. No further details were immediately disclosed, with the sheriff’s office citing the need to “uphold the integrity of the ongoing investigation.”

Pastor Greg Locke, Global Vision’s founder and a self-professed “social media firebrand,” took to Facebook and Instagram to share photos of a charred utility trailer holding dozens of burned Bibles. In a caption, he said that the church’s security cameras had caught “a man” parking the trailer “right in front of our church.”

Addressing his congregation at a live-streamed Easter service, Locke said that the culprit would be “getting in quite a deal of trouble” soon. He said he hadn’t personally viewed the security footage yet, but went on to describe it. “He’s got his hazard lights on at 5:58 in the morning,” the pastor said. “I’m like, ‘Wow, here’s the most polite crook I’ve ever met in my whole life.’ I’ve never met, you know, polite Satanists.

“And so he unhooks the trailer and douses it with gasoline, with fuel, and then—there were probably 200 Bibles,” Locke continued. “I don’t know where he got them.”

The pastor said he had wanted to “start passing out” the scorched Bible pages, but that authorities had confiscated them as evidence. He claimed that the incident was being investigated as a hate crime, and that the FBI was involved.

The Daily Beast has reached out to Locke for more information. A spokesperson for the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Sunday. NewsChannel 5 Nashville reported that Sheriff Robert Bryan had said he had “no doubt” the Bibles were burned intentionally.

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“We’ve had people do things to our building, we’ve been vandalized a number of times, hence why we have to have security, but never 200 Bibles being burned,” Locke told local station WKRN. “That’s a pretty rebellious statement towards the church.”

An outspoken fan of Donald Trump who peppers his sermons with denunciations of President Joe Biden, the news media, and “crack-smoking, demon-possessed leftists,” Locke is a controversial figure, having drawn national headlines for his vaccine skepticism, anti-LGBTQ+ stunts, and book burnings. He has also locked horns with both neighbors and county authorities in the past over the noise from his rowdy late-night services and construction projects.

Global Vision has faced a number of vandalism incidents in recent years. In 2020, ahead of a scheduled appearance by Trump loyalist Roger Stone, the church was tagged with the phrases “repent” and “Locke + Stone will burn in hell.” The letters “FU” were sprayed on the pastor’s pulpit.

The next year, Locke said his cameras had caught more vandals attacking the church—painting “FU” again on the pulpit and “your lies cost lives” on a wall.

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It was not immediately clear if any arrests were ever made for the alleged acts of vandalism.

During his Sunday sermon, Locke framed the burning trailer as another warning shot. “The average church would be like, ‘Oh, my goodness, they’re coming against us.’ And I’m like, thank God they are. Thank God they are,” he told his audience, who cheered back at him.

“If you think that Christianity is not under attack more than ever before in the United States of America, you have not been paying attention.

“You need to get your head out of the sand,” he admonished. “Quit being lukewarm—quit being so passive aggressive and mamby-pamby and spiritually sissified.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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