An extreme anti-LGBTQ church is getting evicted from its building after a judge agreed with its landlord that the church is violating the terms of its lease.
The Steadfast Bible Church in Hurst, Texas has five days to vacate the building it’s currently located in and must pay $42,000 in attorney’s fees after Judge Don Pierson ruled against them.
The church has made headlines for its extremist rhetoric, which includes using anti-gay slurs at the pulpit and calling for death to LGBTQ people.
“And, you know, it’s great when trucks accidentally go through those, you know, parades,” Pastor Jonathan Shelley said about a car that drove through the Wilton Manors Pride parade, killing a 75-year-old gay man. “I think only one person died. So hopefully we can hope for more in the future.”
“You say, ‘Well, that’s mean.’ Yeah, but the Bible says that they’re worthy of death!” he continued. “They say, ‘Are you sad when fags die?’ No. I think it’s great! I hope they all die! I would love it if every fag would die right now.”
“And you say, ‘Well, I don’t think that’s what you really mean.’ That’s exactly what I mean. I really mean it!”
The building Steadfast operates in is owned by the nonprofit organization Fellowship of the Sword Inc. That group wants Steadfast out because they’re preaching violence, which has led to protests against the church in the past.
“He was preaching from the premises, that is called a ‘true threat’ of violence, which is not protected under the First Amendment,” attorney Frank Hill, who’s representing the owners, told the Star-Telegram.
“People need to be told that even a church can’t go around spewing threats of violence,” he continued.
The church has said that they will appeal the judge’s order.
Shelley got national attention when he called for the death of gay people last year, so he posted a video to YouTube entitled “Love They Neighbor As Thyself (Pastor Shelley Explains Death Penalty Belief),” where he called out people who “make up a lot of lies about our church, or they slander us, or they take things out of context and try to make it seem like we don’t love people.” The video has since been taken down.
“I personally believe that all of these sodomites – you know, people that are men with men – are pedophiles because that means they just simply are attracted to children,” he said. “They’re attracted to these people that are ages of 17, 16, 15, 14, 13.”
“Anybody that loves children, that loves their family, would want this person to be executed through the proper channels.”
“I’m not a violent person,” he continued. “The Bible makes it clear there’s a difference between putting someone to death and murder.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center considers the Steadfast Baptist Church an anti-LGBTQ hate group. It’s part of the New Independent Fundamental Baptist Movement, which includes Steven Anderson’s Faithful Word Baptist Church.
Anderson has been banned from dozens of countries – including the entire Schengen Area – because of his anti-LGBTQ and anti-semitic statements.