A natural disaster destroyed hate-preacher Greg Locke's tent church (again)
The church suffered a “grave amount of damage,” said Locke
This newsletter is free, but it’s only able to sustain itself due to the support I receive from a small percentage of regular readers. Would you please consider becoming one of those supporters? You can use the button below to subscribe to Substack or use my usual Patreon page!
On Monday, Christian hate-preacher Greg Locke announced that the nasty weather—more than 7 inches of snow—had destroyed the circus tent he calls Global Vision Bible Church.
The tent suffered a “grave amount of damage,” he explained in between coughs. A lot of the snow that hit Mt. Juliet, Tennessee sat atop the structure, causing it to sag, then cave, under the weight. There’s now a hole in the roof. The HVAC system has also been damaged, he said.
Locke noted that his insurance would likely cover any equipment damage, but fixing the structure itself would have to come out of pocket. He estimated that would cost about $150,000.
While admitting this was “nobody’s fault,” he naturally dismissed any critics who were eager to tell him this was God sending him a sign. “Prophetically, setbacks are divine setups,” he said (unconvincingly). And then he told people how to make donations before asking his supporters to “Pray for the haters that are gonna rejoice over this mild setback.”
As one of those supposed “haters,” I don’t rejoice over the damage to the structure. I’m also glad no one was physically hurt. My complaints about Locke stand whether he’s delivering a sermon from inside a tent or inside a more stable megachurch.
I’m not sure what he expected in the face of bad weather. The tent was set up in May of 2020 in response to COVID restrictions. Because outdoor gatherings didn’t have the same capacity limits as indoor services, Locke set up the tent… then proceeded to flout social distancing rules. He eventually told worshipers that if they wore masks in the tent, they would be kicked out because “We celebrate FAITH over FEAR.” (And over science, apparently.)
It never bothered Locke that his COVID denial arguably led to the early death of at least one church member. This was also the same Locke who, when asked by CNN to define what a “pandemic” was, couldn’t do it.
As he leaned more into science denial, conspiracy theories, and right-wing politics, his congregation of gullible buffoons and six witches grew larger. It got to the point that he wasn’t even thinking about a physical building anymore because, he said, “Even if we broke ground today, we would still need to be in a tent for two to three years.”
All of that is to say he didn’t build the tent with stability in mind. He just rushed to get something up that would allow him to preach without a pause. He needed temporary space and it quickly became his permanent home.
Over time, he didn’t invest in the tent’s structure.
And then, in late 2021, there was a tornado.
You would think that would’ve been a wake-up call to rebuild with the future in mind, but no. Locke merely put metaphorical bandages on the tent whenever he needed to. Last year, for example, in response to noise complaints, he claimed to put up another, better tent:
Locke took News 2 inside the new tent Monday.
“It’s the same size, and we will build walls in the inside and insulate it, so we are just doing our best to fix the collateral damage of the sound for the community,” Locke said.
That failed, too. The sound complaints haven’t gone away, the traffic around the compound has gotten worse, and Locke is currently facing multiple lawsuits: His neighbors are suing over the noise and water runoff concerns while the county is suing him for violating local zoning laws.
In short, the circus-like atmosphere has made life worse for everyone else in the community who doesn’t want to deal with his bullshit. Locke keeps making matters worse because he’s a selfish preacher who believes anything and everything is justified when it’s done to promote his personal brand of mythology.
Now his tent has been destroyed, though he likely has enough money to patch it back up even without any donations. He says he’ll be preaching again this weekend… somehow.
The biggest irony in all this is that Locke is a climate change denier who once insisted that Andrew Tate was arrested, not for alleged sex trafficking, but because he disagreed with activist Greta Thunberg. Climate change, of course, leads to more extreme weather, and now that weather has hit Locke directly.
If his track record tells us anything, it’s that he’ll remain in denial about what he actually needs to do while criticizing anyone who just wants to keep his congregation safe.
By the way, Locke says he’ll be appearing this morning on FOX Weather, which is a channel I didn’t realize existed until now, and that this means “The LORD is using the storm and our tent damage to get glory unto Himself.”
He also said that a Courtyard by Marriott hotel in his town “has GIVEN us a large gathering room, platform and sound system” for tonight’s service. When I called the hotel last night for information, the person who answered didn’t know anything about it, but it’s unclear if this is a donation. If it is, and the hotel just wanted to help out a local church (which might be understandable and good PR), I wonder if they realize the sort of preaching Locke does, like when he said children with autism suffer from demon possession.