Greg Locke claims theater threatened to call police if he prayed for moviegoers, demanded he leave
The film “Come Out in Jesus Name” ran in nearly 2,000 theaters nationwide earlier this month. All locations except one allowed a time of prayer after the movie, according to Pastor Greg Locke, who said he was ordered to leave the theater and the premises.
"In our hometown where we did the premiere, they weren't even going to show it,” Locke told The Christian Post. “But so many people bought tickets, so they filled up the two biggest theaters.”
"Come Out in Jesus Name" follows Locke, who rallied together well-known deliverance ministers Alexander Pagani, YouTube preachers Isaiah Saldivar, Pastor Mike Signorelli, Vladimir Savchuck and Daniel Adams as they model Jesus’ ministry of deliverance as described in the New Testament.
Once a self-described cessationist, Locke now fully embraces the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The film encourages believers to embrace their authority in Christ Jesus to free themselves and others of demonic oppression or possession.
At the end of the film, a pre-recorded deliverance altar call led by Locke was shown in theaters nationwide, but the theater in Locke's hometown refused to do so, according to Locke.
“Interestingly enough, right toward the end of the movie, I had made it over for the last 30 minutes.” So I'm sitting there [in the theater where the film is being shown], and the management actually came up to me and said, 'You will not be speaking here tonight. You will not be praying for people and you will leave immediately when this movie is over.'
"So I came out, the lobby was packed with hundreds of people, people standing in line to be prayed for. They came up to me and they said, 'We will have you arrested if you pray for people in this theater. You will leave now, you will not do it in the parking lot.”
Locke said he was saddened that he wasn't allowed to show the pre-recorded deliverance portion of the film and was also told he wouldn't be allowed to pray for people in person.
“They actually kicked me out of the theater in my hometown. So we had people follow us back to the church and we did deliverance in the middle of the night in the tent,” the senior pastor of Global Vision Bible Church added.
CP called the theater to ask about Locke's accusations and the theater's manager declined to provide comment.
In other movie theaters around the country, however, moviegoers flooded social media with footage of mass deliverances occurring after watching the film. The minister said he and his team received tens of thousands of testimonies from people all over the nation about how they received deliverance following the film's release.
According to The-Numbers.com the Fathom Events film grossed $973,795 at the box office in its one-day showing. But Locke said the project was never about the “income.”
“It's about outcome. We won't even break even on this movie, but we will need to see people set free. And God said, 'You know what? I found some crazy radical people in Nashville, Tennessee, and we're gonna go for it,'” he added.
Locke shot to internet fame after posting a video on Facebook in 2016 criticizing Target for its policy of allowing men who identify as female to enter women's dressing rooms and bathrooms. He later became very outspoken in favor of former president Donald Trump and then spoke out against ongoing government restrictions on houses of worship, which in some states lasted a year-and-a-half.
The pastor has since changed his focus and believes he was misdirected in focusing on things that are not in the spiritual realm, as the Bible instructs.
"It got to a point where my political involvement was so big that it was a distraction in many ways and respects,” he told CP. “I will still do reawaken conference, I'm still very much politically conservative and all that, but I feel like it wasn't the legacy that I wanted to leave.
“Maybe I could have framed some things differently in those early days. It just seemed like everything controversial that we touched turned to social media gold, and it just kept building and building and building, and so I became known as this forceful evangelistic person but maybe on the wrong highway, if that makes sense.”
The pastor testified that God used his antics, so he doesn't want to minimize or even demonize God using those things.
“But I think God the whole time was building me for that, because He knew that the attacks that I'm in now we're going to be so much greater. I had to be kind of brazen. I had to be very bold and brash to handle this, Locke told CP.
"It's easy to fight democrats, I'm fighting demons now.”
Organizers said the screening of "Come Out in Jesus Name" faced other obstacles nationwide as well.
"You could just feel the attacks really from all over the nation. Us being in one spot, we just kept getting message after message — theaters were turning people away saying that the file wouldn't play. Our [Tennessee] theater was packed with 600 people in two theaters, and somebody pulled the fire alarm trying to evacuate everybody out just before the movie started. The management, to their credit, at least they said, 'No false alarm.' So they sent the police away and they let the movie play,” he added.
"Boston, Massachusetts, we got verifiable evidence that when [prayer] started breaking out, the management came in, didn't understand what was happening, turned the movie off, called the police and began to escort people out of the building thinking that there was an emergency,” Locke revealed.
"Come Out in Jesus Name” will have two encore showings on April 10–11, adding an additional 500 theaters around the country.
Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org She's also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic