St. Charles, Missouri — A Missouri man who identifies as a male witch is behind bars after he placed several threatening phone calls to a Christian church, stating that he was going to burn down the building and kill the pastor.
Derek Ficik, 26, of Maryland Heights is accused of calling Matthias Lot Church in St. Charles on Sunday night and leaving violent messages that included sexually explicit language.
According to reports, Ficik stated that he would “make the pastor pray to God as he shot him in the head,” and that he was going to “burn Christianity and all its followers and fill the seas with Christian blood.”
Pastor Mark Sikma says that he received three messages from Ficik on Sunday, and then reported the matter to police. The police were then able to trace the phone number back to Ficik, who was immediately taken into custody.
Sikma said that he was unable to sleep following the threats and had considered canceling an upcoming event at the church. Ficik had attended a service at Matthais Lot Church last Wednesday as a guest of a member.
Police records outline that Ficik was a practitioner of witchcraft, and was also involved in astral projection. The latter practice involves an out-of-body experience, where a person is said to separate from their physical self and travel into higher realms and various “astral planes.” It is practiced by a number of religions, but it is most closely linked to witchcraft and shamanism. Police state that Ficik explained that demons tell him what to do, and he must obey them.
The incident follows a matter that occurred earlier this year in Oklahoma, when 23-year-old Gregory Weiler II of Elk Grove Village, Illinois was discovered plotting to bomb dozens of churches throughout Ottawa County.
The matter was reported to police after staff at a motel in Miami, Oklahoma said they saw suspicious items in Weiler’s room. Among the items included approximately 50 glass bottles with wicks attached, as well as a gas can and funnel.
When police arrived on the scene, they found documents that mapped out plans to bomb 48 local churches. According to a filed affidavit, Weiler’s notes included information on what nights the congregants met and how many people are generally in attendance.
Police state that they also found a journal on Weiler’s bed that provided information on his motivation behind the attacks.
One of the entries read, “Self-promote for the next 4 years while beginning list of goals written out in Oklahoma having to do with destroying and removing church buildings from U.S. a tiny bit at a time — setting foundation for the years to follow.”
A piece of paper was also found in the waste can that said, “Try to get away with it … maybe a plan out of town?”
Police advise that they also found a duffle bag filled with Molotov cocktails, handwritten notes for the bomb-making recipe and a case of 20 empty beer bottles.
He had written a Facebook note days before that outlined some of his angst against religion.
“I have not opened a Bible in a while, and I haven’t stepped foot into a church building in quite some time,” Weiler wrote. “And though I may be very lonely right now, I am hoping that someone — and maybe someday in the future — someone will take notice.”
He is now facing both state and federal terrorism charges.
As for Ficik, he remains behind bars in the St. Charles County Jail on $50,000 cash bond.