OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A beloved church in northeast Oklahoma City is asking a judge to grant a temporary restraining order against a religious group, saying members and guests were harassed during event.
“If someone doesn’t do something about it, it’s not going to end well. And then the question of who is really in charge will demand an answer,” said Derrick Scobey, senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church. “No one should oppose a church. It’s not correct.”
Members of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, located near Northeast 36e and Kelley, walked out of their Sunday service on June 12, to find members of United in Christ Israel on the sidewalk.
“Stop this madness! shouted one of the IUIC members.
IUIC said it is leading its “Blitz the Christian Church” movement, where they teach the gospel and distribute flyers. Church leaders said they would focus on local churches first, then mega-churches. One of the local leaders told KFOR that the group is also trying to solve community problems.
“We really want to meet with our church leaders to try to find a biblical solution to our problems. So, we reached out, reached out, in vain,” Deacon Abbayael Israel said.
According to their social media videos, the leaders said, “The main problem facing our people is Christianity.”
“They charge tithe to our people and they do it in the name of God. These are some of the doctrinal issues we have with the churches,” Deacon Israel said.
“We want you to stop lying to our people!” said one of the protesters. “We want you to stop taking money from our hard workers!”
Ebenezer senior pastor Derrick Scobey said his congregation was terrified.
“No one should have to go through this type of persecution because of their religious ideologies,” Scobey said.
IUIC is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
However, Israel responded to News 4:
“The Southern Poverty Law Center has wrongfully slandered many organizations for years. They are not a reliable source for identifying hate groups. We don’t hate anyone and we don’t tolerate hatred or racism towards any ethnicity. The Bible commands us to live in peace with all men. Our Organization is not based on colorism. The SPLC has incorrectly listed our organization as a hate group, along with countless others.
Deacon Abbayael Israel
“Shame! Shame! Dirty dogs! Dirty greedy dogs! IUIC is heard saying in a video capturing the demonstration.
Now, the Ebenezer Baptist Church will ask a judge to grant a temporary restraining order. The plaintiff claims that “members and guests of the church were harassed” while the IUIC “shouted and shouted rude, vile and obscene statements through a megaphone about the church and the pastor”.
“I really consider it unnecessary,” Israel said. “[The filing says] harass and say degrading things. None of this is true unless the Bible is demeaning.
“What we’re trying to do is raise awareness in the community so that our people actually start reading the Bible for themselves,” the deacon said.
“Stop bringing out pumpkins on Halloween! It’s evil as hell!” shouted one of the protesters.
Israel said the movement will continue.
“If we are wrong, then please correct us and show the love that Jesus would show,” Israel said.
“I would like them to leave us alone, and we will leave them alone,” Scobey said.
Judge Stinson will hear the injunction tomorrow morning at 10 a.m.
Scobey said he contacted the city manager, the mayor and the police chief to ask for some kind of relief. The police tell him they are watching.
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