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HARRISBURG – Four ministers were arrested, three of which were jailed for several hours, on Saturday, July 26, 2003 for standing on public property near a gay pride gathering in Pennsylvania’s capital. They were cited for Disorderly Conduct and Trespass.

Those arrested were Jim Lymon, an evangelist from New York, Rev. 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. Grove, Garisto, and Marcavage were jailed for several hours until the PrideFest event was over.

The ministers were 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 event features various activities throughout the day, including 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. “One of the most disturbing things is that children are being ushered into this sin celebration and are exposed to these perverted activities,” Marcavage said.

The arresting officer, Stephanie Barrelet, a known lesbian, made the arrests without warning. Earlier the officer was seen and caught on video hugging other lesbian women entering the pride event. “These unjustified arrests are an example of Harrisburg’s biased law enforcement,” Rev. Grove said.

“It was outrageous what happened. The city of Harrisburg is an authority unto themselves, disregarding the law and doing what they please,” said Stephen Garisto, one of the four arrested. “I went over and stood on the sidewalk to take pictures of Pastor Grove being arrested, when the police saw me, they came over and placed me under arrest.”

“I was turning the corner to see what was happening and that’s when the police saw me holding my bible and arrested me,” Marcavage said. “It was remarkable.”

The four ministers will be entering their plea of not guilty in the next 10 days and then a hearing will be scheduled. “This matter will be addressed in court,” Rev. Grove stated.

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV

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