Pastor Antonio Rocquemore of Chicago’s Power House International Ministries is standing his ground in choosing to kick out a man dressed in drag on Sunday night.
In a Facebook video posted on Monday by Christian James Lhuillier, the pastor is heard telling an unidentified man to leave the church.
#longpostalert Some of y’all are going to have to excuse my language but I am tired of this shit. 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. This is the kind of BS that causes people to go home and commit suicide. 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. We spend too much time trying to make ppl comfortable in church on some BS that I truly believe that Is on the bottom of gods list if it’s there at all. Hear me and hear me well I know a lot of you do not agree with the way that I live my life notice I didn’t say choose! I was made this way. If it makes you uncomfortable avoid me but keep your comments thoughts and prayers on that topic to yourself I don’t need them me and God are OK. 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!
Posted by Christian James Lhuillier on Monday, November 12, 2018
After asking the man to step into the aisle Rocquemore said, “Can you leave my church and go put on man clothes? And don’t come back like that no more.”
“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,” he continued. “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.”
Although many people in the congregation cheered the pastor on, Lhuillier shared his disgust with the demonstration.
“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 wrote on Facebook. “This is the kind of bulls**t that causes people to go home and commit suicide. S**t like this is the reason that the church has no power in 2018 because they are so worried about the wrong things.”
The video clip went viral and amassed nearly half a million views. After Pastor Rocquemore was met with backlash from the LGBTQ community, he later posted a response calling for people to understand the full story.
In the church leader’s post he clarified that the young man in question was a member of the congregation.
“He is not a stranger off the street” Rocquemore said. “He is a full member of the Powerhouse International Ministries. He joined earlier in the year.”
The pastor also claimed that the young man came to the church to learn to be a “man” and was told several times not to dress like a woman while at church.
“I said, ‘You cannot dress like a female coming to church,'” Rocquemore recalled. “If that’s what you chose to do outside of the church, I’ll just pray for you. That’s between you and God.”
There is also reportedly a rule that women cannot wear leggings into the Powerhouse Ministries. Even with the rules in place, the pastor tells the ushers to excuse visitors who do not know the guidelines.
The pastor alleged that the young man adhered to the rule of “dressing like a man” but slipped up many times before Sunday.
Rocquemore felt he was being challenged publicly so he “challenged [the young man] back publicly by asking him to leave.” He denied ever bashing anyone for being gay and revealed he offered “blessings” to the young man when he was “hungry.”