Memories Pizza, Eatery That Received Violent Threats Over Biblical Marriage Convictions, Closes

WALKERTON, Ind. — Memories Pizza, the eatery that received violent threats after a reporter divulged that its owners couldn’t assist with a same-sex “wedding” if ever asked, has closed its doors, but without explanation. Some opine that the closure was unrelated to the issue, telling reporters that they think the owners just wanted to retire.

The location closed last month, reports the South Bend Tribune. There have been no new posts on the establishment’s Facebook page in nearly three years and the owners did not respond to an inquiry from the outlet.

As previously reported, the controversy surrounding the pizzeria began in 2015 when reporter Alyssa Marino of ABC 57 News in South Bend set out to interview area business owners about their reaction to the controversy over the then-recently signed Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

Among the businesses that she visited was Memories Pizza in Walkerton, a place that is decorated with crosses and quotes from Scripture, and begins each morning with prayer.

The establishment had never turned anyone away, nor were there any complaints about the pizzeria, and owner Crystal O’Connor explained to Marino that if a homosexual couple or someone of another religion came to eat there, Memories Pizza would never deny them service.

“I just walked into their shop and asked how they feel,” Marino explained on Twitter. “They’ve never been asked to cater a same-sex wedding.”

However, one sentence in O’Connor’s response was highlighted in Marino’s report, as she stated that because of her Christian beliefs, she would have to draw the line at same-sex weddings, which some Christians believe would be a form of participation (1 Timothy 5:22, Ephesians 5:7).

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“If a gay couple was to come in—like say, they wanted us to provide them pizzas for a wedding, we would have to say ‘no,’” O’Connor replied in response to Marino’s question.

“We are a Christian establishment,” she said. “We’re not discriminating against anyone. That’s just our belief and anyone has the right to believe in anything.”

Marino soon published an online report with the angle of “RFRA: Michiana business wouldn’t cater a gay wedding,” and the nighttime television report read “Restaurant denies some services to same-sex couples.”

The story quickly went viral, and homosexual activists and advocates lashed out at O’Connor and Memories Pizza. Yelp was flooded with hundreds of negative reviews and vulgar photographs, and those angry about O’Connor’s response left messages on Facebook wishing bodily harm and death to the business owner.

“I pray to God all of you get food poisoning!” one commenter named Alex Ollmedo wrote.

“I pray your store burns to the ground with your family in it,” another named Jeff Green lashed out.

Police were called in when Jessica Dooley, a coach at an Elkhart County high school, Tweeted, “Who’s going to Walkerton with me to burn down Memories Pizza?”

The pizzeria soon closed shop and the O’Connor family went into hiding, fearing for their lives.

“I don’t know if we will re-open, or if we can—if it’s safe to re-open,” she told reporters. “We’re in hiding basically, staying in the house.”

A GoFundMe campaign was soon launched by a Blaze news reporter to help “relieve the financial loss endured by the proprietors’ stand for faith.” While the original goal was $200,000, donations exceeded $800,000 within a few days.

Ten days later, Memories Pizza re-opened its doors to a full house. The O’Connors said that they wouldn’t keep the money for their personal use, but to improve the pizzeria and to donate toward the causes of those fighting court cases because of their convictions.

They reiterated that they do not refuse service to homosexuals.

“I don’t care who comes through that door. They are people,” said Kevin O’Connor. “I don’t care if they are gay. I don’t care if they walk in on their hands. I don’t care if their heads are attached to their knee. They are more than welcome to come in and eat. That is not what is about. We believe that it is not right for a man to marry a man and for a woman to marry a woman.”

Over a year later, O’Connor lamented the hostile climate in the nation toward those who have differing points of view.

“Out of anger, there seems to be no getting along anymore,” he said. “If your opinion isn’t what somebody else’s is, then I’m a dirtbag. Just because I don’t agree with you doesn’t mean I have to hate you.”

A few unkind remarks have been posted to the pizzeria’s Facebook page following reports of its closing, including, “Hahahahahaha. When keepin it bigot goes wrong and forces you to close your store hahahahaha,” and “Maybe you can pray for [God] to save your failing business.”

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  • Blake Paine

    Members of the Ayran Nation church feel the same way I suppose. What every American knows is that every member of the public has a constitutional right to not share the owner’s beliefs and a civil right to still buy what that owner freely offered to the public regardless.

    Thank God there are still plenty of pizza places that don’t feel compelled to illegally discriminate, right?

    • Amos Moses – He>i

      and who did they ever “discriminate” against ……. NOBODY …………

      • Jon Wooten

        The story says they closed without explanation so I don’t know why you’re freaking out about homosexuals. I CERTAINLY don’t know what gay marriage has to do with it so your “homomirage” bigotry doesn’t make much sense.

        • Amos Moses – He>i

          so you speak without any knowledge ……and then throw the epithet “bigotry” into the mix ….. when it was ANTICHRISTIAN “bigotry” that motivated the above comment …. and you do not seem to have an issue with THAT form of “bigotry” …… so back at ‘cha sport ……….

          • Jon Wooten

            Your homomade phrase “homomirage” – is that a nice thing to say? Is it?

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            i have a child …. she ran out into the street in front a car coming right at her ….. she stopped moving right in the path of the car ….. i violently grabbed her and jerked her out of the way …. it saved her life ….. it did not look very “nice” or “loving” …… but i assure you it was ….. no matter what your outward judgement of the appearance of it was ………. or even if your judgement of it is similar to ……

            “I do not argue that there is a God, there most likely is. I just don’t believe that God to be a hate-filled being who wants to punish people for being the way He made them.”

            WHO ARE YOU TO SIT IN JUDGEMENT OF GOD ………… your idea of who and what He is and His judgement is IRRELEVANT ………..

          • Jon Wooten

            You are clearly taking delight in your homemade phrase. There is nothing loving about it, nothing Christian about it, and nothing based remotely in reality about it (since homosexuals are legally allowed to marry). It is not a “mirage” in any sense.

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            Your judgement of it is irrelevant ……. and my comment calls a lie just EXACTLY what it is ….. A LIE ………….. and i do not care if it offends you or not …. LIES are offensive …… and HOMOMIRAGE is a lie ……..

          • Jon Wooten

            You don’t like it but that does not make it a lie. Who are you to comment on a relationship between two people you don’t even know?

        • Tangent002 ✓

          Perhaps the $850 grand they received from crowdsourcing had something to do with their ‘retirement’.

          • Jon Wooten

            What will you bet they got no threats at all, and just told people they did?

    • There was no discrimination

  • Redboyds

    An anti-Christian hate crime was committed with impunity. Expect more to follow.

  • Jacob Waldmiller

    Matthew 5:10

    • Becky

      Psalm 37:12,13

  • Becky

    These homosexual activist groups have infiltrated everything (boy scouts, schools, christian businesses, etc). Unless homosexuality (eg ssm) is being endorsed by every entity, they will militantly come after you and utterly attempt to destroy you, your family, your livelihood and they’ll see to it that you’re condemned as a “hateful”, “homophobic”, “bigot” amongst society. These groups are so determined to normalise homosexuality that they’ve gone so far as to force public schools to teach kindergartners that homosexuality is good and normal…they call it the “saturation process”. Imagine what the world will be like once those little ones have grown up. Worst than ever.

  • michael louwe

    Persecution/prosecution against US Christians by liberal entities is increasing.

    This will one day culminate in the powerful US government requiring all US citizens to receive the “mark of the beast”(= computer chip implants.?) in order to be able to buy or sell stuffs.(REV.13:11) Those who refuse, eg Christians, will be prosecuted/persecuted or left alone to starve to death.

  • TheSayer

    Next in line is the churches then the Bible…

    • Amos Moses – He>i

      happening in Ca. ………

  • nineleven

    This is what happens to a nation where freedom is worshiped more than God’s laws. Ultimately all law breakers who turn against God’s kids and militant homosexuals loose for all eternity. How they treat God’s children will return on themselves as Jesus says.

    • ♥LadyInChrist♥InGodITrust♥


  • Susan Perelka

    As christian’s we should be voting for people who fear God, have integrity, won’t hold their hands out to a bribe, will set the oppressed free, will be just , and do righteousness. Abba Father, I pray that you would rise us up such people to run for leadership roles in our nation. Men whom you have tried, and tested, and have found faithful stewards. Who will seek peace whenever it is in their power to do so. Who will be bold and stand for righteousness. Please Lord, forgive us our lukewarmness, and help us to now do what is pleasing in Your sight. We pray for peace to come to our land. We pray for opportunities to proclaim Your truth. We pray for leaders who love You with all their strength, with all their minds, with all their hearts, and with all their souls. Who will walk in the commandment to love You and people. Thank You Father for Your loving-kindness, mercy, and compassion. I ask this through the precious blood of Your beloved Son, our Lord and our Savior, Jesus Christ. AMEN