Texas Pastor Jailed for Preaching at Pride Event Awaits Court Date
A pastor in Texas is awaiting his day in court following his arrest this month while preaching at a homosexual pride event.
Pastor Joey Faust says that he and other members of his church, Kingdom Baptist Church in Venus, Texas, were physically blocked by police while attempting to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with attendees of the Fort Worth “Ride the Rainbow” pride parade.
In 2011, Mayor Betsy Price served as co-grand marshal in the parade. Following complaints from homosexuals about the preaching and witnessing of Christians adjacent to a picnic that was a part of the festivities, according to reports, the Fort Worth Police Department resolved to step up its presence at the event.
This year, a homosexual female sergeant from the Fort Worth Police Department served as one of the marshals. It is believed that the sergeant was responsible for coordinating police efforts at the parade.
Faust states that as he and others from his church were preaching and distributing tracts to those in the parade, suddenly, the police formed a human blockade across the public walkway.
“The police lined up [across the street] and said, ‘You can go no further,” he told Christian News Network. “We were forbidden to cross the street and they wouldn’t tell us if we were being detained.”
Faust said that as he stood for some time watching others being allowed to pass by the human blockade, except for anyone that was present to witness to attendees, it became obvious that the police had an agenda.
“Christians who were in support of homosexuals were allowed to cross the street,” he stated. “A Christian walked by me right in front of the officers, and said, ‘I’m here with my family and some of them are homosexuals.’”
Faust then asked police why they were specifically restricting those that oppose homosexuality.
“I asked, ‘Why are they allowed to pass?’” he said. “They were just quiet.”
“At that point, I took a step and attempted to cross,” Faust outlined. “Once I stepped into the street, [the officer] put my hands behind my back.”
Faust and a second church member were then charged with “interfering with public duties,” a class B misdemeanor. He was jailed for 20 hours and held on $1,500 bail. Faust said that the conditions while incarcerated were deplorable.
“They did everything they could to make it as miserable and as difficult as possible,” he remarked. “Everyone was getting [released] far earlier than we were.”
Faust is now required to report to a bail bondsman each week up until his trial, for which he does not yet have a date. He explained that in Fort Worth, the process generally takes 7 to 9 months, and that being held by a bondsman includes abiding by specific terms.
“I can’t leave town,” Faust outlined. “I have to report every Wednesday with a phone call and let them know that I’m here and I didn’t run away.”
If convicted, Faust faces up to 6 months in prison and a $2,000 fine.
He states, however, that the police are more interested in stopping unwanted activity rather than pursuing prosecution.
“The reward is not that they are prosecuting the Christian,” Faust explained. “It’s that they are removing him from the preaching.”
Faust, who has been preaching on the streets of Dallas and Forth Worth for 20 years combined, stated that hostility toward the preaching of the Gospel is increasing — not just with bystanders, but with city officials.
“In Dallas, they consider us their worst adversaries,” he said. “Fort Worth [which hadn't promoted homosexuality as heavily], has now gone the other way in showing that they are gay friendly. … Now, they are persecuting Christians.”
“Not only do we have do deal with police, we have to deal with Fort Worth security as well,” Faust outlined. “We’ve even had police smile and say, ‘I can take you to jail right now without a reason.’”
He explained that police in Fort Worth told him that they had to keep his church separated from the homosexuals for safety reasons.
“To say it’s a safety issue is just silly,” Faust said. “This was just one of the most vile displays, [and yet they target us].”