Pastor Greg Locke: 2 Years Later, 2 Sides Later

Pastor Greg and Taisha Locke

Most of you reading this may remember that a little over 2 years ago, very heavy accusations publicly fell upon America’s Pastor; Gregory Duane Locke of Global Vision Bible Church in Mount Juliet, Tennessee. Accusations that shook American Christianity to it’s core and caused an uproar in both the religious and secular communities. Pastor Greg Locke is most well known for his viral videos on social media. With a Facebook following of over 1.5 million people, persecution due to the political, social and religious buttons that  Pastor Locke’s viral videos push, comes regularly. Online, Christ denying internet trolls like to stir up trouble, hurl insults and flood viral video comments with their filthy opinions of Locke, which is expected. Inside of Global Vision Bible Church was much different, no one can be prepared when allegations of adultery and spousal abuse surface about one of your favorite pastors at the behest of some women within his very own congregation. Two years ago began the process of exposing Greg Locke as a monstrous, wife abusing, sheep beating, fornicating, adulterous wolf who put his darling bride of 20+ years on a bus and shipped her off to a battered women’s shelter in Georgia. The information obtained to expose America’s Pastor was the only information available at the time.

Pastor Gregory Duane Locke

However, 2 long years later there is more information to be given. I was able to speak openly with Pastor Locke and he has agreed to allow me to share what I have learned. On several occasions I met with him and we spoke with witnesses present such as Sherman Lee Kellow, a local Christian business owner and founder of Street Ministry Of Tennessee. Michael Strait, a hard working man that doubles as a street preacher that lives to serve God. Also present was Eric Painter, a Mount Juliet local who, strongly and faithfully acts as the hands and feet of Jesus while he combats abortion in Tennessee. Ashley McCormick was also a witness, she is a Missouri resident who was visiting Tennessee and Dale Walker, President of Tennessee Pastors Network

  My wife Amanda and I were able to sit down with Greg as well as his wife Taisha (Tai) for lunch. After a mutual trust over this matter was established, a lot of shocking and heartbreaking details that were not known publicly were revealed. Many of the things we have all heard were further expanded on, a lot of things were clarified and other things started to make sense once the missing parts that were never told were added to the account.

I am writing this to share what we have learned from Pastor Locke himself, Taisha and his ex wife Melissa. The last 2 years of Locke’s one-sided and extremely publicized life will be addressed in subsequent op-eds since there is much to cover. There are dozens upon dozens of articles that have been shared vastly throughout the internet and we will be going through each of them to challenge what we know to be true. Greg and Tai have opened up about what life has been like since 2017.

Pastor Greg and Tai

Let me begin by stating that I remain a neutral party. I will not be placing blame for incomplete or inaccurate information on Locke, Melissa nor any of the publishers of any previously written articles. I have been friends with Melissa this entire time. I am friendly with the journalists who initially broke the story and have always respected their journalism. I was friends with the woman who first made the affair allegations against Locke, who my wife at one time had a personal friendship with outside of the situation taking place. I know and have had friendly relationships with numerous people who left Pastor Locke’s church. I have raised money for and even sent money of my own to the shelter that Melissa was staying at and was in touch with the shelters directors Carol and Bruce. To this day we still occasionally touch base with Carol. Every now and then, we try to direct love offerings for the shelter to help provide food for the women that Carol takes care of in their time of need. The shelter is a faith-based safe haven for women and children to take comfort in while they work to get back on their feet after unfortunate circumstances.

 When all of this began 2 years ago we were one of the ministries that helped pay for Melissa’s divorce attorney and had permission from Melissa to speak with the firm that was representing her. I’ve spoken to nearly every but not all important people involved. Phone calls, text messages and internet communications can be traced back to everyone from the swine that plotted to stage a fabricated affair, to a woman named Jennifer who was engaged to Locke’s uncle, during Locke’s wild pre-teen years. 

As I write this my prayer is that God is glorified and the truth is told. It is important that I first publicly apologize to Pastor Greg Locke. For the past 2 years I have been preaching HARD against him and I need to apologize for repeating many of the things that were said about him that were not true. Before this, I had only ever met Locke one time which was in Washington DC, outside of the corporate headquarters of Planned Parenthood. It was a very short and informal interaction. Everything else I knew to be true were the opinions I formed after I trusted the words of those involved, assuming it was true in lack of Locke’s defense for himself. The testimonies I read appeared to be genuine and the conversations I had appeared to be sincere. I made myself available to anyone involved who needed to talk and I earned the trust needed to discuss these issues. During that time trust was a rare offering for everyone I spoke with. While I was living in West Virginia, I was asked on more than one occasion to come to Tennessee and open a church for the hurting church members who had left Global Vision and were left Pastor-less. Knowing now that Locke too was struggling with who to trust, looking back at my one reciprocated attempt at contact, I am regretful. I regret not trying harder to reach out to Greg and for that I apologize. I also need to publicly apologize to Tai for believing everything I had heard about her. I have repented of the false accusations I levied against her, the biblical names I have publicly called her and for the hurt that was caused. Tai received and to this day still receives the brunt of the blame for Melissa and Greg’s divorce. I have seen the blame placed on her recently, when a Virginia man whose recklessness is to blame for the death of his own wife, viciously harassed Tai on one of her Facebook posts. I apologize for being one of those who only fueled attacks like those by further spreading the false narratives I thought to be true.

I do NOT however, apologize for calling for Pastors to step out from the pulpit and get in front of the abortion clinics, which is ultimately what led up to making this op-ed possible. For Christians, we have an obligation to speak the truth, we are to be doers of the word and not hearers only (James 1:22). As a preacher it is my job to also expose false teachers, to mark and avoid them, and to warn the brethren about them (Romans 16:17-18). The bible also tells us that if our brother sins we are to try to bring them back to repentance (Matthew 18). This is exactly why we preach as hard as we do. We care for and we love God’s people, but we must also be willing to admit when we are wrong and repent ourselves. This is the position I find myself in. I repent before God and before the body of Christ who witnessed me sharing things that ultimately turned out to not be true. 

As you read this first op-ed, I pray that the truth is revealed. I ask that you keep Greg, Tai, and Melissa in prayer. I want you all to remember just how very critical we were of Pastor Locke for an entire 2 years. For those who are skeptical of what you are about to read and weren’t around to see what we published, you need to know that it was I, who brought it to the attention of journalists who were also harsh critics of Locke, that his divorce proceedings were a matter of public record and that accessing them was as easy as sending someone to the courthouse to request them. After the documents were obtained by the woman who first came forward with her accusations against Locke, I was one of several who were provided with a copy of the documents. Over time, while others but not all let the fiery accusations against Locke die down, I didn’t and never even considered it an option. I have rebuked him harshly on Facebook, on YouTube, Tik-Tok, Twitter and any other form of social media I had access to. My Facebook page published dozens of meme’s, videos and posts about Locke that all called him out in sin. My teachings often consist of noting the decay of the church and Locke was often my go to example of what is wrong with the church today. I shared every article and accusation to my multiple platforms and engaged in deep, lengthy discussions on each occasion. After moving to Middle Tennessee I was strongly considering going out there with my bullhorn, to his church to rebuke him every Sunday until he repented. Any chance I had to take a shot at him, I took and Greg himself acknowledged it even after he and I reconciled.

Getting on to what transpired a little less then a month ago, I created a Facebook Event and we called on Greg Locke to come out to Carafem, which is an abortion facility in Mount Juliet, TN on January 11th, 2020. We invited Locke to come stand against the slaughter of innocent babies taking place just minutes from his church. In hindsight- the invite was more of a dig towards a pastor who hadn’t been seen by the regulars who were out there lately. There was little doubt in my mind that he was going to ignore my almost “challenging” request. I was ready to put him on blast in front of over 500,000 people by the time we had left to catch some relief from the rain by going to grab lunch. While we were in the restaurant, to our surprise, Greg Locke did in fact show up to the clinic, called us out for not being at our own event and he actually waited for me to get back there.

Greg waited on the sidewalk fully expecting me to rebuke him to his face. He came by himself, no cameras, no staff, just him, in the pouring rain. That alone speaks volumes of Greg Locke. For this man to show up after knowing everything I have done against him and admittedly losing social media followers and church members because of me, that took some serious guts. He even brought along extra umbrellas and offered them to anyone who needed one. I had every intention of rebuking him to his face, until just minutes before we arrived when my wife and Sherman Kellow asked me not to. After all, the event was not about myself nor him, it was about sending a message to the city of Mount Juliet and letting the baby murderers on the 2nd floor know that God hates the hands that shed innocent blood.

Upon arriving Pastor Locke greeted me with a handshake. With me was Amanda, Sherman, Michael, Eric, and Ashley. Before I knew it we were all deep in conversation. I found myself looking at physical evidence that disproved some of the things that I had thought for so long. I asked him difficult questions, in fact I asked him questions that I didn’t actually expect him to answer. I asked him the questions that were asked of him publicly that went without answers. For 3 hours Greg Locke was asked question after question and for 3 hours Greg Locke took responsibility for the things that were true but was also vindicated by proving the things that were not true. Mid way through these 3 hours, the rain stopped and the sun came out. Before leaving Carafem that evening, the Holy Spirit took over and reconciled all of us who were there that day to a man who was falsely accused of being an abusive, narcissistic, greedy dead beat drug addict. 

Greg Locke, Michael Strait and Rich Penkoski at Carafem January 11th, 2020

Once we got home, I got a phone call from Melissa, who knew Greg was asked to show up that day. She was just curious to see if he did or not. I began to tell her what we discussed and after she knew I had spoken to Greg, the rest of our conversation was very revealing to say the least.

I felt it very important to ask her again something that we had already discussed before. I asked her again if Greg had ever hit her. Her response was much different than any other time we had discussed this topic. The passive response confirmed to me that I cannot any longer call Greg Locke a woman beater. There was an instance I have learned about from 2017 that I feel is very important to share.

On October 31st, 2017, Greg was put in a situation where he had the right to protect himself against physical infliction incurred by Melissa and he didn’t. Greg Locke did not lay a hand on Melissa as he was being physically assaulted, antagonized and provoked. Instead, he got in his car and spent the evening at his office. This was the evening that brought a 20 year marriage to a close. 

Here is what I now know to be true after speaking with everyone that knows the truth of these matters.

When first speaking to Melissa, she made it perfectly clear that Greg did not put her on a bus and “send her away”. The day after Greg spent the night in his office in October 2017, Melissa expressed to Greg that she needed to get away for a little while and that she knew exactly where she wanted to go. Greg honored her request to take a bus and paid for her tickets. Melissa went first to Murfreesboro to visit with Aunt Martha and then she was off to Georgia to stay with Carol at the shelter, as a guest, not as a battered woman looking for refuge. Melissa’s reason for choosing Carols in Georgia was based on the very close relationship that she and Carol have. When Melissa chose to get away, she and she alone knew what she needed, why she needed it and what she prayed to achieve during her time away. Just 1 week after Melissa left their marital home both Greg and Melissa signed divorce papers that Melissa had drafted.

I asked Locke straight out if he had committed adultery with Tai. His response was that he had not. I pressed him some more because I couldn’t possibly at that time just take his word for it. I ask very specific questions. I asked Locke if Melissa or anyone else had ever caught him and Tai being intimate inside of his church, he said no. In the past my wife Amanda has asked Melissa if she had ever caught Greg having an affair, Melissa too said no. There was never a specific instance that would support evidence of an affair that Melissa could recollect. If Locke had been asked when allegations of an affair arose, he would have been more than willing to supply 6 months worth of video recording from inside of his church and offices. 

I asked Pastor Locke about his car that was photographed in Tai’s driveway late one evening while he was still “legally” married to Melissa. Greg admitted that it was in fact his car. He was picking up his children from Tai’s house. It is important to understand that Melissa and Tai were best friends. Their children were all  friends, their families gathered together often and went places together. Greg never gave it a second thought when he continued to do what had always been done, just because Melissa wasn’t there with them did not mean all normalcy had to stop. Tai’s family and the Locke family often gathered in the past. The children were all helping Tai that evening to prepare for the banquet at the church that Sunday. Greg picked up his children when they were finished. Being a parent myself, I do believe that is a decision that any parent would make, to keep things as normal as possible, for the sake of the children. The photo that was taken was also selectively taken, the photo failed to show the other vehicles that were parked outside of Tai’s house that evening as well.

I almost asked Locke at one point about the $30,000.00 car that was allegedly bought for him with church funds, but then I remembered as he was driving away from Carafem that Saturday evening that I was able to hear his pick up truck long after it was gone. I would hardly call his monster truck a minivan and I would not say it was worth $30,000.00 unless there was a duffel bag full of hot cash sitting in the front seat. I have also seen Tai’s car, it is not a $30,000 one either.

I want to personally address a statement that was put out about the the status of the Locke children’s insurance coverage. Without having to get into too much detail, I can confirm that the kids did and do have medical coverage.

I can personally attest to the fact that while facetious and malicious phone calls were placed to child services, neither Greg, Tai nor Melissa were ever at risk of losing the children. As per state law, when allegations are reported they must be investigated, no matter how ridiculous the allegation. Locke and his wife did not have a single allegation of any type of abuse against them substantiated. This also discredits the accusation that Greg was on drugs. He was in fact drug tested on several occasions and tested negative every time.

Currently Greg has custody of two of his children and Melissa has custody of two. Greg sees all of his children regularly. During the divorce proceedings a child support order was put into place. The accusation of Greg being a deadbeat father who doesn’t pay child support is simply untrue. I have seen with my own eyes proof of the child support payments and not only proof of payments but also proof that it is paid a full two weeks in advance. That Saturday at Carafem Greg took out his phone and showed me the child support payments. There was a time where I too heard that Locke was not fulfilling his child support obligations. At one point, I was preparing to pay Melissa’s attorney to take Greg back to court for what I thought was going to be a wage garnishment or possibly an enforcement order. After speaking to the attorney it seemed as if they were more interested in doing a forensic audit of his bank account and that receiving the actual child support and alimony payments wasn’t a matter that needed to be enforced at the time. 

There was a time in November of 2018 when a police incident report was filed about an exchange between Melissa and Greg while they were doing a child pick up/drop off. A conversation turned into a full blown argument and Greg took off. It was Melissa’s ex-husband (then fiance), not Melissa who had requested police assistance after Greg left the location. I spoke to Melissa that night and she explained to me what had happened. She regretfully admitted that she should have just allowed Greg to leave instead of insisting that he spoke with her. She said that before Greg pulled away he did tell her to remove her hands from his window and that he was pulling away. Greg left the parking lot to diffuse the situation. I have read the incident report and it confirms the narrative that I have heard from both Greg and Melissa.

Facebook post from 2018

It was a well known fact that Melissa had never possessed a driver’s license until after she and Greg were no longer together.

Like many, I assumed it was because Greg was a controlling narcissist who did not permit her to do so. What wasn’t well known was that Melissa did in fact have a driver’s permit while they were married which she had for a while. It was by choice that Melissa never drove, she openly admits that she had always been terrified to drive. She never had any desire to drive and she never had any reason to until she was divorced.

Concerning Jarrod Almond, Global Visions ex Executive Pastor, and his wife who was the record keeper who stood accused of embezzling $200,000 from the church. That number was severely inflated but the fact remains there was in fact money that had gone missing over the course of a few years. Locke chose not to take legal action against the couple because they had just had a baby. He did not want to see anything happen to the child due to an arrest and criminal charges. His love for that child and it’s well being was far greater than his love of money. 

I asked Locke about the photo of him and Tai that was taken at Tai’s daughters basketball game. What most don’t know is that the photo was also selectively taken. It was not just Greg and Tai at that game together, seemingly on a date, as the photo would lead you to believe. Also attending the game with them were siblings, friends, grandparents, and aunts and uncles, all of who were sitting together. There was also a video, which too was selectively taken, of Greg and Tai entering the gymnasium after the half time concession break. Tai’s daughter had previously asked her Pastor and close friend of the family to come watch her games but due to a busy schedule and a family, he was unable to make any other games during that season. Locke was certain to attend that game specifically and for good reason, the same reason there were so many other family members there that wouldn’t have regularly attended. If the girls lost this game, they would not go to playoffs and there would be no more games in the season. Anyone who knows Locke can confirm that Tai’s daughter and him always had a tight bond. Locke cared for and looked after Tai’s daughter just as any pastor would for a youth member of his church, just as any family friend would. He showed up to show his support just as the rest of the family had. It was not a thought in his mind at the time that anyone who saw him at that game would believe anything nefarious was taking place. Locke admitted to me, in hindsight, that it did look bad due to the partial information that was released. 

Even with the answers that Locke was giving me, they were understandable, even plausible but I was still skeptical. As Locke continued to speak openly in front of all of us who were there, we saw a man who was humbled and repentant in that moment. Locke admitted that he did not have the perfect marriage. He admitted that he was not a great husband to Melissa but that Melissa also wasn’t the best wife to him either. Greg acknowledged that the mistakes made by both of them in their marriage were not in anyway a justification for the divorce and repented for all of those things that led up to that point. Greg and Melissa married young, before they discovered who they themselves even were. Now that Locke is married to Tai, he vows to be a good husband and do the right things this time around. Greg is certain that they will not make the mistakes that were made during his first marriage. He is happy that he is now able to set an example for his sons of what a husband’s role is in the marriage and for his daughter to see how a wife ought to be treated. Greg is able to love Tai as Christ loves the church. It is evident that Greg is smitten over his wife and she over him. Having repented of being divorced, he has no intention of being divorced ever again. 

Now, for those who believe that Locke should go back to his first wife, please know that since the divorce, Melissa has remarried. She was married on November 23rd, 2018, just 3 and a half months after Greg and Tai got married. Melissa is now divorced for a second time however Deuteronomy 24 tells us that it is an abomination for a man to go back to his first wife if she has been defiled by another man.  

Melissa’s Wedding November 23rd, 2018

I understand that for some, knowing now that Locke has repented for what he needed to repent of will not be good enough. There will be those who expect a viral repentance video, there will be those that insist he must divorce Tai and remain single and then there will be those who won’t acknowledge his repentance at all. The truth is that the bible does not say that we are to repent before the entire body of Christ. The bible does not say that we are to repent publicly. If you believe Greg should spend the rest of his life as a single man, do you really believe that God would want Greg to divorce again? 

Pastor Locke will join Warriors for Christ on a live video (date will be announced soon) to answer any and all questions anyone may have. 

There will be more articles that will bring the truth to light, and to God be the glory!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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