The pastor of a Massachusetts church that was recently vandalized is warning those who wish harm upon its congregants that they will not stand idly by.
“We will not roll over and become a victim,” Tom “Flathead” Iddings, the pastor of the Broken Chains Biker Church in Taunton, told the Taunton Daily Gazette. “We’re the church that shoots back.”
On Thursday evening, police received a call reporting a man wearing slippers who was destroying items inside the building, formerly the St. John’s Episcopal Church, and had locked himself in a room.
When police arrived, they immediately came into contact with the suspect, 19-year-old Joel Davila, who was described as sweating profusely and giving them a “thousand-yard stare.”
Hey Flathead Tom here. Some of you may have heard God's house, your church, was violated last night by a demonically…
Davila was exhibiting strange behavior, such as rolling his eyes to the back of his head and screaming comments about his hatred for God and Christians and “about being possessed by a demon,” the local newspaper reported.
He appeared to be “talking in tongues” and allegedly threatened the police officers and their families, saying he would “kill them and eat their bodies.”
Davila continued making statements about demons and religion despite one of the police officers telling him he was making people nervous. He was handcuffed and transported to a local hospital, where he continued to act incoherently, police said.
Davila was charged with intimidation of a witness or police officer, threatening to commit a crime, destruction of property over $1,200, disturbing the peace and vandalism of a church.
The church, affiliated with the Assemblies of God denomination, moved from Holbrook to Taunton in August after buying the church and adjacent building.
Broken Chains Biker Church revs up for grand opening in Taunton https://t.co/khXpMD3Em9
— The Taunton Gazette (@TauntonToGo) August 17, 2018
Iddings said his church is “always willing to lead you to Jesus Christ,” but he also noted that most of its members are armed.
“Our music team is extremely loving and thoughtful, but most of us [congregants] are armed and prepared to deal with command and control situations,” he said.
(H/T: Taunton Daily Gazette)