By mtjulietintern

Greg Locke

Tempers flared recently after a man confronted controversial Mt. Juliet pastor Greg Locke before he delivered a sermon at Benchmark Church in Oliver Springs.

Locke appeared at the church as a guest speaker during revival at the church when Pulpit & Pen administrator Tim Weakley, who attended the event with his wife and son, confronted Locke about his personal life.

Locke, pastor of Global Vision Baptist Church in Mt. Juliet, began his sermon when Weakley approached the pulpit and asked Locke if the group could pray before moving forward.

After a short prayer, Weakley said he had watched and read about Locke for “a couple of months,” and his heart was broken for Locke. Weakley’s comments drew praise from attendees before he took aim at Locke.

“The biggest problem we have right now is this man right here is not living up to what a pastor needs to be,” he said.

Immediately, church members attempted to remove Weakley from the building and threatened to call the police, while Weakley claimed he was assaulted due to shoving from the group.

Locke, who did not leave the pulpit, said he was used to verbal attacks and attempted to continue with his message while Weakley and the group exchanged words.

Weakley shared his thoughts on the event while in the car with his family.

“Greg Locke understands now that we’re not going to take this lying down. There are folks from Pulpit & Pen all over the place, and there’s some other folks that are going to find that out, too,” he said. “Greg Locke is making a mockery of what the church is. We have too much of this going on.”

The incident was not the first interaction between Locke and Pulpit & Pen, which has published a series of blogs this year on its website that take aim at Locke, claiming he is unfit to lead a church because of his personal life.

The blog posts focus on Locke’s estranged marriage and rumored affair with a church member and include text messages between Locke and his wife, who the blog claims is living in a women’s shelter out of state.

Locke took to Facebook to defend allegations made against him on the same day the latest Pulpit & Pen blog aimed at him was published. The post also came five days after the previous blog focused on his marriage.

“There’s so much I want to say to defend the truth. The hurt and betrayal is beyond anything I could’ve imagined,” Locke said. “To read such vicious lies and out of context things about a situation people are ignorant of is completely disabling. People will choose to believe whatever they want to.”

Locke said he could publicly dispute certain claims and provide verification, but he would allow God to fight for him, noting his children knew the truth and stand with him.

“We knew the ‘final round’ was coming because we’ve been threatened with it for many weeks. It was a control tactic or else. I’m not going to stoop to that level and air out all the responses, hurt and backstory nonsense,” he said. “Of course, we said crazy, regretful and angry things in messages. That’s what happens when a relationship is going through such bitter unraveling, and emotions are in high gear.”

Pulpit & Pen’s blog posts included text message conversations believed to be between Locke and his wife that include vulgar language from Locke.

“When people’s private pain is made public for the purpose of a story that reads between the lines and builds its narrative, admittedly so, on opinion and assumptions, it’s difficult to stomach. However, I’m not involving myself in the mud slinging. Our family and all those involved could use your earnest prayers and hope that you can respect our privacy.”

Pulpit & Pen writers note pieces of their posts are opinion and speculated based on given information.

Seth Dunn, Pulpit & Pen writer, published a post prior to last week’s revival, where he claimed to have had a phone conversation with Benjamin Blankenship prior to the revival and urged him to cancel the event.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com