Go away, gay.

A gay Tennessee couple said they were assaulted when they tried to attend church services at the Grace Fellowship Church in Fruitland last Wednesday, an attack that was prompted by one of the gay men’s father.

“I went over to take the keys out of the ignition and all the sudden I hear someone say ‘sick’em,'” said Gibson County resident, Jerry Pittman Jr.

“My uncle and two other deacons came over to the car per my dad’s request. My uncle smashed me in the door as the other deacon knocked my boyfriend back so he couldn’t help me, punching him in his face and his chest. The other deacon came and hit me through my car window in my back,” said Pittman. He said bystanders did not offer assistance. He said the deacon yelled derogatory homosexual slurs, even after officers arrived. He said the officers never intervened to stop the deacons from yelling the slurs.

Friday, the couple filed assault charges against Deacons Billy Sims and Eugene McCoy. Pittman pressed additional charges against his father and Deacon Patrick Flatt.


Is there anyone that can justify the actions of this pastor and deacons?

Of course, there is a family dispute element here, but is there ever a time when someone should be physically restrained from entering a church service?  Maybe a domestic violence situation…?  Someone who would be verbally disruptive?

Have any of you had to deal with a situation that was uncomfortable, or, like this, turned to blows?


More here.


  • Dillon October 4, 2011 Reply

    If there were enforcers at the door of every church to keep the sinners out we’d be in pretty tough shape. Very sad.

  • Peter October 4, 2011 Reply

    Not everyone who wears the name of Christ should. That behavior was far far worse than the victims’ sins, imho.

    Including, and perhaps especially, the “bystanders”.

    And they weren’t restrained. They were beaten.

  • Carl Adams October 4, 2011 Reply

    It’s reprehensible to me how the church at times treats people who live a gay lifestyle. Where in Scripture does it say that sin is any worse than, say, heterosexual lust, bigotry, hatred. Christ died for all sinners. Even if there was a family argument and the gay men were there to provoke or intentionally bother their family, the church, etc, what better opportunity to show love and grace to them and be hospitable.

    It’s incredibly sad when sinners of any stripe feel unwelcome at church. The church is exactly where they need to be. Granted, not that church, but in general, where else will they receive the Good News that God loves them no matter what?

    Thanks for posting this, Todd.

  • Bill October 4, 2011 Reply

    If these facts ar true this is heart breaking and sad. The Church needs to change our approach to matters of sexuality immediatley! This is not how Jesus would treat these men. I am troubled to the core.

  • Pastor Steve October 5, 2011 Reply

    Grace Fellowship… really? they might want to consider changing the name of the church or booting out the so called pastor. This is rediculous! Pretty much goes against everything Jesus said: “And they will know you’re my desciples by your love”

    I am in no way promoting or accpeting the homosexual lifestyle but it’s time the church begin putting it into the same perspective as all other sins of the flesh just like heterosexual fornication, lust, adultry…

    I hate to hear news like this, another black eye to our loving Father and another stain on the Bride of Christ which is supposed to be without spot or wrinkle.

  • Jim B. October 6, 2011 Reply

    The majority of the responses so far have jumped to condemning the church members. However, I am always hesitant to accept at face value newspaper articles on churches and homosexuals. I’m sure there are two sides to this story, but I didn’t see any responses by those accused of the assault. To jump to the conclusion that these men did all that they were accused of is premature. There have been numerous articles and news stories that have withheld facts re. these types of stories that were later found to be highly untrue. So, before I jump on the bandwagon re. this church, I think I would like to hear the other side of the story, as well

  • Emmetri Beane October 6, 2011 Reply

    Before anyone takes an action in the name of Christ, they should try saying it out loud with “in the name of Jesus” attached to it. For instance, “I am going to commit assault and battery in the name of Jesus.” If it sounds insane or just wrong, then don’t do it. Maybe a sanity check would have stopped these men from doing something so obviously wrong and using the name of God to justify it. God doesn’t bless the mess!!! I hope these victims will open their hearts to forgive people who misuse the name of God to cover their criminal behavior. More importantly, I hope they get to know some true Christians.

  • Larry Evangelista October 7, 2011 Reply

    It should have been handled in a better way. Christ came for the sinners. and thats why we all come to him.

  • bsat October 13, 2011 Reply

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  • rbud December 6, 2012 Reply

    You can’t easily make up this kind of stuff. A homophobic church name “Grace” in Fruitland. Amazing.

    As for the question at hand, I’d rather have a gay couple living next door to me than any of the people at Grace Fellowship. In fact, I believe I’d welcome them in response to this kind of event.

    I have had several awkward situations at hand. We’ve had bikers, homeless, diseased, gay, single pregnant girls, ethnics of various kinds. I always stand my ground, even though it isn’t always popular. I would not allow any ethnic or disadvantaged group to be victimized at my church. Unlike Grace Fellowship, am I not the least bit fearful that our (precious) social structure would be harmed by their presence. Our spiritual structure is God’s and is untouchable, so no worries there, either. I don’t see any problem with it.

    When I was an associate pastor yeas ago, we once had a couple of deacons get into blows over the results of a new deacon election. Not very smart on the one’s part, however, since he went to jail over it. The other is a popular, influential attorney in the area. Some things are too mundance to talk about in religious terms.

    That is the point, isn’t it? Soiling our Christian persona and witness over useless mundane issues.

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