Over the weekend, CNN aired a segment about why so many white evangelicals supported Donald Trump despite the fact that pretty much everything he does contradicts their stated principles. The answers were exactly what you’d expect. He pays them lip service. We’re all sinners, so who are we to criticize Trump? Etc.
But I was somewhat startled to see Pastor Greg Locke on the screen. He’s best known to readers of this site for his rant after getting a thank-you letter from Planned Parenthood in the mail — someone must have made a donation in his name. His rant was so over-the-top that readers here donated even more to Planned Parenthood. He eventually went to their Washington, D.C. headquarters to stage a weak protest dumping out all the thank you notes. Hilarious.
A real winner, that one.
Not too long ago, I heard he was going through a divorce. I didn’t write anything about it because, frankly, that’s his business and not ours. I don’t care what he does in his personal life; I care about his public statements.
Unless he’s a hypocrite.
And it turns out he’s so much worse than a hypocrite…
Seth Dunn, a Christian writer at Pulpit & Pen, recently sat down with Locke’s now-ex-wife Melissa and found out some incredibly devastating things about their married life. Like how he hit her more than once. Like how he shamed her for gaining weight after he had paid thousands of dollars for her weight-loss surgery. Like how he was emotionally abusive.
These aren’t just her words against his. She had the text messages to prove it. (She’s in blue.)
Surrounded by her employer and the caretakers of the women’s shelter at which she now resides, Melissa Locke tearfully told me her story. She and her caretakers also showed me hundreds of text messages between Greg and Melissa. The vitriol with which Greg Locke addressed his wife of 20 years in those text messages is unbecoming of any man, especially a Christian pastor.
He swears. He calls her a “deceitful bitch.” He shames her for how she looks. And there are so many more messages where those came from.
As Dunn notes,
This is… the language of a man who stood up on national TV, pointed his finger at a congregation of whom he is supposed to shepherd and said, “You, ladies and gentlemen, must get right with God.”
When news of the divorce was made public to his church earlier this year, The Christian Post spoke with him about it, and he said his wife was mentally ill and that was putting a strain on their relationship. (In other words, it was her fault.)
“She’s been in and out of mental health facilities but that is not where she is right now. She is at a place that helps ladies get on their feet again. The only reason why she is there is that the lady who runs it is like her grandmother, and so she’s there. She’s only there because of the comfort,” he said when first asked if his wife was in a shelter.
Greg Locke’s abandonment narrative has unraveled and his own actions prove the condition of his heart. Melissa’s caretakers are disgusted with Greg. I sat at the table with them while I interviewed Melissa. They have been appalled at his actions. Melissa has spent a total of seventeen days in the hospital with chest pains after receiving the harshest of contact from Greg.
When Dunn asked her about physical abuse, Melissa was reluctant at first to say anything, only offering up, “Just because somebody hits you, like two times, does not mean…” Yikes. She eventually gave a few more distressing details.
Though it was in the past, the hitting took place during Greg’s tenure as pastor of [Global Vision Bible Church]. Pastor Greg Locke hit his wife. Melissa also shared that Greg had spit in her face during the previous summer and broken her phone as she tried to calm him down during a fit of rage. Her busted phone was church-issued. In Greg Locke, GVBC has a pastor who abuses both church property (a phone) and God’s property (his wife)…
I wouldn’t have phrased it like that at the end, but you get the idea.
None of his actions, though, can be justified. It’s cruel. It’s abusive. It’s certainly not the way a moral leader ought to be acting when no one else is watching.
And nothing’s going to happen unless his congregation walks out on him because Locke runs an independent church. He and his buddy make all the decisions, take in all the money, and report to nobody. He’s not going to fire himself.
So unless there’s backlash among church members — requiring them to believe a woman’s testimony over their pastor’s lies — he’s going to keep preaching as if he has any right to tell them how to live a good wholesome life.
Read Dunn’s entire post. It’s a story that needs to be heard. My fear is that the people who need to read it the most will just dismiss it as Christian persecution.
***Update***: Greg Locke has denied everything and calls Melissa’s stories “lies.”
There’s so much I want to say to defend the truth. The hurt and betrayal is beyond anything I could’ve imagined. To read such vicious lies and out of context things about a situation people are ignorant of is completely disabling. People will choose to believe whatever they want to. I could list things that would blow people’s minds and provide verification but I’m going to have to allow God to fight for me. All 4 of my kids know the truth, stand with me and are mortified over the falsehoods. I’m putting it in God’s hands and going to bed. We knew the “final round” was coming because we’ve been threatened with it for many weeks. It was a control tactic….or else. I’m not going to stoop to that level and air out all the responses, hurt and back story nonsense. Of course we said crazy, regretful and angry things in messages. That’s what happens when a relationship is going through such bitter unraveling and emotions are in high gear. It’s been nearly 6 months of hell and those early days were without a doubt the worst. When people’s private pain is made public for the purpose of a story that reads between the lines and builds its narrative, admittedly so, on opinion and assumptions, it’s difficult to stomach. However, I’m not involving myself in the mud slinging. Our family and all those involved could use your earnest prayers and hope that you can respect our privacy. Enough senseless damage has already been done. Anyone with an honest approach can see it for what it is. God bless.
It’s all lies… but, you know, he might have said some nasty things over text messages.