Missouri Police Descend Upon, Arrest Evangelists Preaching Gospel in Public Square


Brummitt ytSPRINGFIELD – Three Christians with a church in Springfield, Missouri were arrested on Friday night while preaching the Gospel in the public square.

The situation is part of an ongoing battle between members of Lighthouse Anabaptist Church and the Springfield Police Department.

“This is coming to a head,” Pastor Aaron Brummitt told Christian News Network on Sunday. “Somebody complains, they write a ticket. They call it a ‘peace disturbance.’”

Brummitt, who was moved by God to reach his country while serving in Afghanistan, has received nine tickets from the Springfield police just this year. However, Brummitt has repeatedly explained to police that the city has affirmed that his activities are permissible under the law.

In an email from Chris Straw, the director of Building Development Services, it was explained that “a formal permit is not required” for the church’s evangelistic activities, and that “all sound generating devices shall not exceed 75 decibels.” Brummitt said that he has followed the law and has done nothing wrong.

“We try to be reasonable,” he stated.

However, the city states that the reason the pastor is being ticketed is because members of the community are lodging complaints.

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“We’re not the ones that are filing the charges,” city attorney Dan Wichmer told local television station KY3 News. “Yes, we file the charges, but there are citizens who are claiming that he’s disturbing their peace.”

This past Friday, the ongoing tension between Lighthouse Anabaptist Church and the Springfield Police Department escalated when several officers seized the church’s equipment and put the three of its members in handcuffs. Brumitt states that the group had been preaching outside of a concert in Park Central Square when an officer told the Christians to move elsewhere. Brummitt asked to see where the law prohibited them from preaching in the square.

“I told him, ‘You need to find me an ordinance,’” Brummitt explained. “He left, and then he came back with no ordinance.”

But what happened next was completely unexpected.

“The officers jumped out and grabbed our equipment … and started taking it,” Brummitt recalled.

At this point, Brummitt and a friend began to grasp the equipment as they believed that their private property could not be legally seized without a warrant. They were immediately put in handcuffs.

A woman from the church named Erica, who had been holding a sign during the outreach, then reached out for the video camera. Police began prying her hands away, and minutes later, she was also placed under arrest.

“We are taking this for evidence!” the officer declared.

“I’m not doing anything wrong!” the woman contended.

“The Lord moved on my heart to keep preaching while we were in handcuffs,” Brummitt explained, and so he continued preaching as approximately half a dozen officers swarmed the area. “It was an emotional moment.”

All three were placed into the back of a police van and where transported to the the local jail, where they were fingerprinted and had iris scans and mugshots taken.

“It was a very degrading sort of event,” Brummitt recalled.

However, he also remembered that when police arrived at the jail, they were surprised at what they saw.

“As they opened the door [to the van], they were kind of shocked to find three people singing hymns,” Brummitt recalled.

The pastor and his two congregants were released later that night, and were charged with obstruction for attempting to stop the police from confiscating their equipment.

“There could be a huge suit now because of the arrest,” Brummitt stated, advising that it becomes a class b felony in the state of Missouri to intentionally violate a person’s constitutional rights on the third offense.

The church has retained Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) for their legal counsel.

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21 Responses to Missouri Police Descend Upon, Arrest Evangelists Preaching Gospel in Public Square

  1. THANK YOU SPD!! Finally this disturbing nucience is off the street for at least a little while!! You cannot create a disturbance and preach with a bull horn crap that people don’t want to hear without getting complaints. If people want to preach, go to a church!! If people want to hear preaching.. GO TO A CHURCH!! These people are disturbed and how would you Christians like it if my team came out every weekend and preached Satinisum!?! It’s the same thing. To the Buisness owners and customers of these Buisness, I hope your reprieve form these loonatics lasts a very long time!

    • So it’s ok to violate their Constitutional rights to peacefully gather, to practice their faith, to speak freely, to not have their equipment unlawfully seized, and others, so long as it keeps you from being inconvenienced.

    • Gavyn,

      Apparently you know nothing of the Constitution, and you are basing your response on your own interpretation of the situation…that it was a nuisance to you because they were exercising thier Constitutional right to assemble and practice their religion (no permit is needed if they were abiding by the laws, which they were). People like you have decided to turn your back on God and those that preach the Word are a nuisance because it is annoying to you…well Christians have the same rights as you…they just choose to EXCERCISE it more than you do. Complaining to the Police and not stepping up like a man makes you a coward…because you do not have the guts to stand up to someone that you is DOING the right thing.

      I will pray for you, because that is my right, whether you like it or night. I hope you will relook at your life and make some changes. God bless you.

    • So if a Christian shares His/Her faith and the good news of Jesus Christ, its a threat or disturbing the peace?
      What peace is there? This world has no peace, theres only one peace and that is Jesus.
      Atheists can proclaim their religion and its ok, take God out of the schools
      And its fine. Homosexuals can protest in the streets and still its fine.
      But we mention even once the name of our Savior Jesus in a good way amd were counted as terrorists.

      Phillipians 2:9-11
      9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

      May God bless you.

  2. Everyone should be concerned. Christians being
    persecuted like in many foreign countries or like
    when Roman soldiers rounded up Christians to
    be sold, beaten, tortured or killed. But what happened
    to Rome? Rome fell… as America will
    unless we take a stand. I will not be stripped
    of my religious rights!

  3. The actions of this police dept. is appalling. You can clearly see that the were ordered from their administrators and they should be held accountable. Officers are the mirror of their Chief or comparable boss. Right now every Christian organization should be in prayer for both sides for the glory of God./

  4. It our duty to GOD not to people,we must continue till JESUS CHRIST come

  5. WE HAVE TO PRAY FOR THEM (STREET EVANGELIST/PREACHER)& THE POLICE AS WELL.
    THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD ARE UPON THEM, AND WITH BOLDNESS THEY SHARING HE GOSPEL EVERYWHERE. THEIR LIFE ARE IN DANGER. WE HAVE TO PRAY FOR THEM RATHER THAN JUST TO COMMENT WHAT HAD HAPPENED <3

  6. Richard Wurmbrand spent many years in jail for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ of peace with God and man. He stated that the deal between them and the Nazi/Communists was: WE PREACH THE GOSPEL AND THEY BEAT US.
    That deal with the present AMERICAN nazi government is still true…
    PREACH ON IS ALL I SAY!

  7. Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Isaiah 5:20 I thank God for your holy boldness – may He enlarge your borders and use you mightily.

  8. I commend them for their efforts to reach people for the Lord. I also feel this wasn’t the best place or manner to do it. I feel it is important to respect others as we want them to respect us. I don’t believe in watering down the message, just to be wise in reaching out to them. Matthew 10:16 “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” If you want to reach people who are hungry for God, get a permit, have an outside old time church revival and draw them to YOU. These people are happy in their sin and doing what they want to do. They came to hear a concert. If they want a change in their life, I don’t think they will do it there. If you offer up an exciting church service with joyful worship and music, draw them in and then preach a little bit and let conviction fall on them. He can knock on the door but they have to open it. God bless you all.

  9. Preston Preacherman Cole

    I AM SO BLESSED THAT GOD HAS GIVEN ME A MOTORCYCLE AND A COFFIN TO TAKE TO THE STREETS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND SET IN A PARKING LOT OR A MALL PARKING LOT OR WHERE EVER PEOPLE WILL ALLOW ME TO SET UP. I DON’T SCREAM OR PREACH I LET EVERYTHING I HAVE DRAW PEOPLE TO ASK ME QUESTIONS ABOUT WHAT I HAVE AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN. IN AMERICA WHEN SOMEONE ASK YOU A QUESTION YOU GET TO ANSWER IT, MOST OF THE TIME I ANSWERE IT IN A QUESTION FORM WHICH GETS THEM TO ASK ME ANOTHER QUESTION, AND ON AND ON. WHEN THEY ASK IF THEY CAN TAKE PICTURES I SAY YES, WHEN THEY GET DONE TAKING PICTURES I ASK IF THEY WOULD LIKE ME TO DEVELOP IT FOR THEM, IF THEY ANSWER YES I GIVE THEM A PAMPLET THAT HAS THE PICTURE OF THE MOTORCYCLE PULLING THE COFFIN AND TELL THEM MY PHONE NUMBER IS ON THE PAMPALET AND IF THEY HAVE ANYMORE QUESTION AFTER READING THE PAMPALET PLEASE CALL ME.

    • Mr. Cole i commend u on ur work but for how long will u be able to do this? Their are those in power stoppin the word of God, takin away our freedom of religion to impose theirs. Truly dark times in America n only more to come if we do not stand!!

  10. If you have a smart phone their is an app I am not sure of the name that once you start recording it will send it to an external site so even if they confiscate and destroy your phone or at least delete the footage it will still be on the external site.

  11. These people are very offensive. As a Christian, I would not consider them my brothers and sisters in Christ. Their actions do not bear fruit of the Spirit. Please don’t stick up for them. Springfield is a very conservative and Christian city and my guess is that all of the law enforcement going on was by Christians, as were the judges and all of those who upheld the laws.

  12. This was nothing more than a waste of time. This is NOT evangelism! This is someone (or some group) wanting attention for their mission, NOT God’s. When Paul was opposed and kicked out of the Synagogue he does not ‘make a stand and get arrested’. He simply goes next door to where he was welcome and preached from there. As a result of his actions, God was glorified and Crispus (the ruler of the synagogue) came to believe in the Lord.

    A Christian’s heart needs to be humble, so the gospel is offensive not the Christian’s self-righteousness. These officers were and are not Roman soldiers. To portray them in such a light foolish and is putting ones self-righteousness ahead of God’s call.

    We as Christians need to realize we have NO right to be offended if we truly love as Christ loved. We do not need to be tolerant of sin, but we must remember the ‘good news’ isn’t sinners are going to hell, it is that we have all sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God, yet God made a way we can all come to Him and live eternally with Him in Heaven.

    My apologies to the officers and those exposed to this who have not yet accepted Christ as their Savior. Those arrested are trying to do the right thing, but doing it the wrong way.

  13. Friends, fellow BBC students and I used to street preach/evangelize back in the early 80′s. Then we would recieve various forms of persecution from random passersby, unbelievers. Now it is our very own government! Things to come… unless we take a stand , prayerfully/spiritually, poltically, and constitutionally. This NWO progressive movement within our government, both Dem’s & Gop must be stopped! senateconservatives.com freedomworks.org Let’s take a stand, and as Paul told Timothy, 1Tim. 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith….

  14. These people preach hate and discontent. I see them there all the time. They dont preach God’s love and forgiveness. They hold signs telling people they are going to hell. They are bigots. These are the kind of people who turn people against true Christians

    • Does the turh hurt Christie? Pick up a Bible and read what happens to people who reject the Salvation of Jesus and then you’ll understand where the preachers are coming from.

  15. I guess the city of Springfield is too stupid to tell the complainers, the 3 Christians re exercising their free speech under the First Amendment. I wonder how city officials were elected in the first place since they obvisiously are ignorant of the Constitution.

    I smell a huge, time consuming lawsuit coming.

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