Greg Locke says Easter Bible burning a sign that Christianity is under attack in America 

The sheriff is investigating the burning of 200 Bibles in a trailer outside Locke's church on Easter Sunday.

Photos posted by Pastor Greg Locke on social media show the fire department responding to a trailer of burned Bibles near Global Vision Bible Church in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, Sunday, March 31, 2024. (Photos via Facebook/Pastor Greg Locke)

(RNS) — A Tennessee pastor known for burning books, casting out demons and creating outrage says someone burned 200 Bibles outside his church on Easter Sunday (March 31).

Greg Locke, pastor of Global Vision Bible Church in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, said the church’s security cameras recorded a “polite crook” stopping their vehicle in the middle of an intersection by the entrance to the church, putting on their hazard lights, then dousing a trailer full of Bibles with gas and setting it on fire. 

“You got to be kidding me,” Locke said during the Easter revival service, according to a video posted on the Global Vision website. “How many churches in America have a trailer full of Bibles getting burned to block the parking lot?”

The fire is currently under investigation by the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department.

According to a press release from the sheriff’s office, the Mt. Juliet Fire Department responded to the fire at about 6 a.m. on Sunday morning and quickly extinguished the fire. 

“The trailer, containing bibles, had been dropped off in the middle of the intersection and then intentionally set on fire,” according to the sheriff’s department. “To uphold the integrity of the ongoing investigation, other specific details cannot be provided at this time. However, we assure the community that further updates will be shared at the appropriate juncture.”

At first, Locke joked about the fire, saying he had asked law enforcement to give the charred pages of the Bible to the church — so the church could hand them out as a reminder of the need for prayer. 

Then he called the fire another sign that Christianity was being threatened in America and that the return of Jesus and the End Times were imminent. 

“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,” he told his church. “Quit being lukewarm. Quit being so passive aggressive and mamby-pamby and spiritually sissified. OK? I’m telling you, they’re attacking churches in America.”

Locke then told his congregation he had just returned from a trip to Israel, which he said was the safest place in the world and that news reports about the war in Gaza were media lies. He then went into a long monologue about the so-called Red Heifer prophecy — the idea that a red cow has to be sacrificed on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem to usher in the return of Jesus and the end of the world. 

The Temple Mount is currently the site of the Dome of the Rock, one of the holiest places in Islam. Locke told his congregation that the mosque on the Temple Mount would soon be “brought to rubble” and that a red heifer would soon be sacrificed — which would allow first the Antichrist and then Jesus Christ to arrive. 

“We are watching the word of God be fulfilled before our very eyes,” he said.  

Locke was once a relatively obscure Tennessee preacher — known mostly for publicity stunts like backpacking hundreds of miles to raise money for missions and staying up all night on a cherry picker to raise awareness about homelessness. 

He became a social media influencer after a 2016 video of him condemning the inclusive bathroom policies at Target went viral. Locke has since used his online influence to promote Donald Trump and Christian nationalism — as well as to declare himself an exorcist, capable of casting out demons.

Locke has also claimed witches infiltrated his church in an attempt to bring his ministry down and has clashed with his neighbors and local officials after erecting an enormous tent on the grounds of his church during the COVID-19 pandemic. That tent, Locke has claimed, is needed to accommodate the crowds of new people attracted by his support for Trump and his newfound career casting out demons.

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