Pastor Brian Gibson, founder of the PeaceablyGather.com movement also launched the Church Defense Initiative, to protect churches and their property after rioters have issued calls to desecrate houses of worship. Gibson is Senior Pastor at HIS Church, a nondenominational church with congregations in Owensboro and Henderson, Kentucky and Amarillo and Dumas, Texas.
In June, Gibson visited Seattle to witness the destruction there– when the mayor was referring to such destruction as block parties. He said:
“I have personally been on the ground in CHAZ/CHOP, and seen the wanton destruction that violent agitators carried out against people and property. These are no longer protests by citizens, these are deliberate acts of violence and vandalism from anti-American groups that seek to undo our country’s history and our religious heritage.
“Churches will always welcome those seeking refuge and relief, but when evil people attempt to damage and destroy we will exercise our full legal rights, as well as our rights to defend ourselves and our properties with physical force. History is full of examples that when religious images and symbols are attacked what follows shortly thereafter is attacks on the people, and we will not allow that to happen in our communities.”
The Church Defense Initiative declares that:
- Churches will prosecute any vandals or agitators to the full extent of the law, including seeking hate crime designations for any attempt to desecrate church property or religious symbols;
- Hold government leaders responsible who refuse to respond to church and property attacks;
- Asserts the rights of churches to use physical force to protect their property and safety if absolutely necessary.
Last month, Gibson posted an announcement for churches to reopen: