Pastor Antonio Rocquemore of Power House International Ministries in Chicago, Illinois, landed in hot water after publicly reprimanding a male church member who attended Sunday night’s church service dressed as a woman.
A video of Rocquemore’s public display of disapproval was brought to the attention of many by Christian James Lhuillier, who claimed that the pastor was wrong in shaming the church member.
"Some of y'all are going to have to excuse my language but I am tired of this sh*t. In a place that is supposed to be a place of change, a place of deliverance, whatever you want to call it why would you destroy someone in front of a room full of people?" Lhuillier asked.
"This is the kind of bullsh*t that causes people to go home and commit suicide. Sh*t like this is the reason that the church has no power in 2018 because they are so worried about the wrong things. I know drag queens and transsexuals that can pray you out of sickness faster and some of these preachers that collect your love offerings every Sunday," he continued.
"I would have turned that church clean out do you hear me!!!!!!!!! It's time for us to stand up for what we believe and stand in our truth and walk away from these ministries that bash who we are. Too many illegitimate relationships have been created trying to conform to a mold you were never meant to fit. I have a great deal of respect for the house of God. But I wish upon wishes upon wishes that had been me. The city of Chicago would never forget my name!" he ended.
The clip has since amassed a view count of over 400,000.
The complete recording of the service is available on the church’s Facebook page. In the minutes leading up to his rebuke of the church member, Rocquemore can be heard making comments regarding biblical standards of holiness:
"The presence of the Lord is here ... if you stop believing, standing for something, you will fall for anything. And God can't move the way he wants to because of the standard. He set a standard. Stand by him, even if it costs you friends because you'll always be approved by heaven. I'm at a point in my life where I'd rather heaven be pleased with me than people speak to me. Speaking to me don't bother or stop where I'm going," he said.
The pastor then urged members to guard their minds before he told the man in woman’s clothing to step out into the aisle of the church.
"Can you leave my church and go put on man clothes?" he asked firmly.
"And don't come here like that no more," continued Rocquemore as someone can be heard in the video declaring "thank you Jesus!"
"I hold a standard in here. Whatever you do on the outside is your business, but I will not let drag queens come in here. And if you're gonna come in here you're gonna come in here dressed like a man .... If you're a man, dress like a man. If you're a woman, dress like a woman. I'm not going to allow it. My salvation is more important, and God is holding me accountable," he added. "... you will not be wearing weaves and heels and fooling people up in here."
After receiving criticism from those in support of the young man, Rocquemore stated that the member has attended services at the church for several months and had conveyed a yearning to reflect manhood as expressed in the Bible. The pastor went on to say that the young man promised to follow the rules of the church but had been warned about dressing appropriately for church on numerous occasions.
"... When you join my church, all the rules and regulations is told to you then. If you ever slip up [on the rules] we would still take you privately and go over them again. This particular situation, this young man was told several times in private. I went to him personally myself," the pastor said.
After being challenged by the member during Sunday night’s worship service, the pastor claimed that he was compelled to reprimand him.
"He challenged me publicly and I challenged him back publicly. I asked the young man to leave. There was no security taking him out ... sir can you please change clothes," he said.
Photo courtesy: Pexels/Dean Shim
Video courtesy: Power House Facebook Page