TRIAL SET FOR MINISTERS ARRESTED
IN PENNSYLVANIA’S CAPITAL 1/6/04
HARRISBURG – The four ministers who were arrested and charged with Disorderly Conduct and Defiant Trespass while evangelizing outside of a gay pride celebration in Pennsylvania’s Capital are scheduled for trial on January 8, 2004.
Jim Lymon, an evangelist from New York, Jim Grove, Pastor of the Heritage Baptist Church in Loganville, Pennsylvania, Stephen Garisto, an inner-city minister in Harrisburg, and Michael Marcavage, a field preacher of the Philadelphia-based REPENT AMERICA are scheduled to appear for trial. Grove, Garisto, and Marcavage were jailed on July 26 for several hours until the PrideFest event was over. Lymon, the first to be arrested, was cited and released.
The ministers were arrested while evangelizing outside of South Riverfront Park, which is a public park where the annual gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgereded PrideFest event was taking place. The day-long event featured various activities, which included the sale of pornographic materials, public nudity and open lewdness, men dressed like women, and the use of obscene language over the public address system.
The ministers were not permitted inside the public park, therefore they remained on the sidewalk and street just outside the main entrance. It was in this public area where they were engaged in open-air preaching, one-on-one evangelism, and calling those entering to repentance, in which they were later arrested. The arresting officer, Stephanie Barrelet, a known lesbian, who was caught on video hugging other lesbian women entering the pride event, made the arrests without warning.
The hearing will take place on January 8 at 8:30AM in the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County. Lymon, Grove, Garisto, and Marcavage will be represented by Attorney Len Brown of Clymer and Musser, P.C., a law firm based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
“What a nation we’ve become where Christians ministering in public are being arrested, jailed, and brought before judges, while those who openly celebrate breaking God’s Law are free to do so in public places,” Marcavage stated.