Easter stunt goes horribly wrong for Impact City Church in Ohio

Easter stunt goes horribly wrong for Impact City Church in Ohio April 20, 2019

WHEN part-time pastor Jaddeus Dempsey, of Impact City Church in Pataskala, Ohio, invited kids to spit in his face, slap him and even cut him with a steak knife to illustrate the humiliation and torture suffered by Jesus, he no inkling of the outrage this would cause.

Pastors Jaddeus Dempsey, left, and Justin Ross. Image via YouTube.

After video of the stunt went viral members of the public reacting with shock and disgust – and the church’s lead pastor, Justin Ross was forced to apologise for the incident in a video message.

Ross said the incident took place during the church’s student after school hangout.

Each Monday we invite students to come across the street, a place where they can hangout with their friends. We provide activities for them, we feed them. As part of that program we also take five minutes to do a deposit of faith in the students. A chance where we can share the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.

But, he said, Dempsey, who chose to discuss the message of Easter, took things a little too far.

Jaddeus got up in front of his students and he says, ‘I’m gonna ask you to do something that might seem a little crazy, but if there is anyone here that would like to spit in my face you can do so without any repercussions.’ Now the students were a little caught off guard. Some got excited about it as they never had the opportunity to willingly spit in someone’s face and several students took him up on it.

The process was repeated with the offer to slap Dempsey in the face as well as cut him with the steak knife.

The reactions are appropriate. Many of you were disgusted, many of you were hurt by this, many of you were very confused. Why this would be taking place in a church, in a youth group? And we agree, it was inappropriate for this audience. And there is really no excuse for why it happened.

He argued, however, that the intent behind the exercise is important.

This part did not get posted on social media. After Jaddeus allowed them to spit on him, slap him and cut him, he sat them down and explained to them about this guy named Jesus who thousands of years ago, he was put on trial for a crime He did not commit.

And he was beaten, he was broken, he was whipped. He was crucified. He died as an innocent man. We believe Jesus had the power at any point to stop them. To stop those that were hurting him. But he chose to allow it to happen … in order to take the payment of our debt that we call sin.

Dempsey who spoke later in the video took full responsibility for his actions and apologised to the church community for his:

Bad judgement. I am deeply sorry for the pain that I’ve caused.

The original video shows Dempsey removing his shirt, picking up a steak knife and offering it to one of the boys. He tells the kid to to cut him “gently”. This request however was met with an incredulous “Are you serious!”

But  the pastor insisted that he be cut and one of the boys steps up and draws the blade across his back.

One parent, Mandy, whose son is featured in the video, said she got a call from a friend warning her about what was happening at the church.

The guy who is in the video turns around and grabs the knife and he hands it right to my son.

She said she and her husband Josh rushed to the church to pick up their son because they found the event inappropriate.

Josh said:

He was upset. He thought he was in trouble. When I explained to him I’m not upset with you, I just want you to know that the things that happened here wasn’t OK.

"Get someone else to make your wedding outfits. Don't waste your time on this bigot."

New York wedding dress designer could ..."
"At all times publicly speak and act in accordance with the mission and teachings of ..."

Sacked pro-choice teacher teacher sues Catholic ..."
"If RC priests and their followers, handing out these sackings, while whining about following the ..."

Sacked pro-choice teacher teacher sues Catholic ..."
"I guess if you want to live in SC, Charleston is the Moneybags city, but ..."

Sacked pro-choice teacher teacher sues Catholic ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Broga

    I suppose it seemed a good idea at the time. The reason behind it is, of course, bonkers: ” But he chose to allow it to happen … in order to take the payment of our debt that we call sin.”

    How could one man, by being tortured, pay for “our debt that we call sin”? And wasn’t the entire nonsense divinely arranged so that the mythical charade could take place? And what is meant by sin? Once the priests get into this mindset common sense and decent behaviour are eviscerated as they are corroded daily by the myths of religion.

  • Bravo Sierra

    No thought, even, of blood-borne pathogens. Someone who doesn’t consider safety first has no business supervising children.

  • Die Anyway

    > “…do a deposit of faith in the students.”

    Hmmm….. this just sounds wrong.

  • fifthdentist

    “Church’s student after-school hangout” and “part-time pastor.”
    What could possibly go wrong?

  • fifthdentist

    And also illegal. Except maybe in Alabama.

  • Broga

    Perhaps, “What else could possibly go wrong.?”

  • Robert Baden

    “….explained to them about this guy named Jesus who thousands of years ago, he was put on trial for a crime He did not commit.”

    Hope he tells them about the Innocence Project.

  • Anyone else find themselves wondering if Jesus was just an excuse for him, that he wanted to be assaulted because he has some sort of kink?

  • Jim Jones

    You have to marry them after that in Florida. Even if they’re 11 years old.

  • Jim Jones

    Actually, Jesus was guilty as sin. The Romans made the rules – don’t cause trouble at Passover. He broke the rules, he dies.

  • Raging Bee

    More sick, stupid, quasi-pornographic fetishizing of Jesus’s bodily suffering, for the purpose of shaming the rest of us into silence and complicity. I’m willing to bet that the next time one of those kids questions the church’s teachings, their “sinful” “rebellion” will be equated to their previous staged degrading actions toward the priest, and thus to the persecution of Jesus himself.

  • I’m certain of it.

  • Raging Bee

    Fetishizing the torture and degradation of Christ’s body is the kink, and he’s not exactly covering it up.

  • Raging Bee

    Nor should someone who encourages kids to behave so dreadfully toward ANYONE, including himself.

  • persephone
  • Yeah, but it was a holiday weekend!

  • anotherangle01

    Just as long as Judge Moore presides and it’s being done at the mall.

  • CoastalMaineBird

    if there is anyone here that would like to spit in my face

    Were there people sitting around, just wishing to spit in his face? Why would anybody take him up on that ? His face in particular, or just anyone’s face?

    Some got excited about it as they never had the opportunity to willingly spit in someone’s face

    I’ve had the opportunity thousands of times. Haven’t done it once.

  • What. In. The. Actual. WHAT.

    Annnnd we get another example of why Christians can’t be trusted with your kids. Ever. Even when they’re pretending to offer a hangout zone, they’re trying to beat that 4-14 window before it closes to indoctrinate and subvert. I wonder how much those parents knew about those “deposits of faith” (EWWW and could they even find something creepier to call it)?

  • Half his weekend even! 🙂

  • Raymond Metcalfe

    I wonder what would have happened if one of those kids did hurt him perhaps stab him instead of cutting or one of those slaps becoming a punch in the nadgers? Another sick stupid stunt by another deranged nut job.

  • Raging Bee

    Yeah, the LEAST creepy interpretation of that phrase is that they were “depositing faith” in that group of kids, like they’re a bank, and that gives them the right to withdraw…something unspecified…from that group of people later on.

  • Madison Blane

    Yeah, the excuse of “I was just doing The Father’s will” might fly with mom when you’re a 12 year old who is late for the caravan because you were sermonizing in the temple, but it doesn’t go over quite so well with the Roman authorities when you’re a 33 year old grown man who just tried to shut down the world currency exchange bank and halt all business transactions during the biggest festival of the year! There’s 400,000 people visiting the city, and they don’t have time for one loudmouth messing it up for everyone, trying to stand in-between Rome and its tax money. They will kill you and be done with it!

  • Jack the Sandwichmaker

    Was this to drive home the point about how stupid God’s plan was?