OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A beloved church in Northeast Oklahoma City is asking a judge to grant a temporary restraining order against a religious group, claiming members and guests were harassed during a demonstration.
“If someone doesn’t do something about this, it isn’t going to end well. And then the question of who’s really responsible will demand an answer,” said Derrick Scobey, senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church.”No one should come against any church. It is not right.”
Members of Ebenezer Baptist Church, located near Northeast 36th and Kelley, walked out of their Sunday service on June 12, to find members of Israel United in Christ on the sidewalk.
“Stop this foolishness!” shouted one of the IUIC members.
The IUIC said it’s carrying out it’s “Blitz the Christian Church” movement, where they teach the gospel and hand out fliers. Religious leaders said first they will focus on local churches then move to mega churches. One of the local leaders told KFOR the group is also trying to fix community problems.
“We really want to meet with our church leaders to try to come to a biblical solution to our problems. So, we’ve been reaching out, reaching out, to no avail,” said Deacon Abbayael Israel.
According to their videos on social media, leaders said, “The main problem that is facing our people is Christianity.”
“They are charging our people tithe and they’re doing it in the name of God. These are some of the doctrinal issues that we have with the churches,” said Deacon Israel.
“We want you to stop lying to our people!” said one of the demonstrators. “We want you to stop taking the money of our hard working people!”
Ebenezer Senior Pastor Derrick Scobey said his congregation is terrified.
“No one should have to experience this type of persecution because of their religious ideologies,” said Scobey.
The IUIC is listed as a hate group by The Southern Poverty Law Center.
However, Israel told News 4 in response:
“The Southern Poverty Law Center has been slandering many organizations wrongfully for years. They are not a reliable source to identify hate groups. We do not hate anyone nor do we condone hatred or racism to any ethnicity. The Bible commands us to live in peace with all men. Our Organization is not based on colorism. The SPLC has wrongfully listed our Organization as a hate group, as well as countless others.”Deacon Abbayael Israel
“Shame! Shame! You dirty dogs! You dirty greedy dogs!” the IUIC is heard saying in a video capturing the demonstration.
Now, Ebenezer Baptist Church will ask a judge to grant a temporary restraining order. The plaintiff claims “members and guests of the church were harassed” while the IUIC were “yelling and shouting rude, vile, and obscene statements through a megaphone about the church and the pastor.”
“I really see it as being unnecessary,” said Israel. “[The filing says] harassing and saying demeaning things. None of that is true unless the Bible’s demeaning.”
“What we’re trying to do is bring a level of awareness to the community so our people will actually start to read the Bible for themselves,” the deacon said.
“Stop putting pumpkins out on Halloween! That’s evil as hell!” shouted one of the protesters.
Israel said the movement will continue.
“If we’re in error, then please, correct us and show the love that Jesus would show,” said Israel.
“I would like for them to just leave us be, and we’ll leave them be,” said Scobey.
Judge Stinson will hear the injunction tomorrow morning at 10 a.m.
Scobey said he has reached out to the city manager, mayor and police chief to seek some sort of relief. The Police tell him they are watching.