The notorious Westboro Baptist Church is planning to picket two churches in Nashville this weekend.
Don Aaron, spokesman for the Metro Nashville Police Department, said members of the church notified police of their plans to protest at the Charlotte Avenue-based Cross Point Church as well as Mt. Zion Baptist Church on Old Hickory Boulevard this Sunday morning.
Cross Point pastor Pete Wilson posted a video on the church’s website warning churchgoers about the events this weekend.
“They’re here because they disagree with me on how Jesus would deal with sin and how Jesus would deal with people. It is beyond me how a group of people could be filled with such destructive hate and still claim to follow the same grace-filled Jesus that I do,” Wilson said in the video.
Although Westboro’s website makes no mention of protesting at Mt. Zion, it says they plan to protest at 11:30 a.m. to noon at Cross Point. They also have a protest stop planned for GracePoint Church in Franklin earlier in the day.
“WBC will picket the Cross Point Community Church to remind these so-called Bible Belt Christians that this nation was turned over to the [gays] on their watch,” Westboro’s website says. “While playing and socializing at Cross Point, the [gays] continue their march to control this land.”
In his video message to his congregation, Wilson acknowledges that the unsolicited visit by Westboro members may not happen at all as they have, in the past, announced they’d be coming but not shown up.
If they do show, however, Wilson asked that his church members “not respond in anyway. Don’t engage their rhetoric, and whatever you do, do not respond with the same level of hate that they show.”
Aaron added that Westboro members only plan to be at each location for about 30 minutes and police would evaluate each protest in an attempt “to ensure the safety of everyone at those locations.”
Cross Point is a nondenominational church and claims to be one of the fastest-growing churches in the country. The church recently announced plans to acquire the Rexel Electric building near LP Field.