Group of counter-protesters showed up to church services before PDX protest

Pastors of two area churches say a group of counter-protesters showed up at their services Sunday, voicing anger for their support of refugees.

The group of four who appear to be part of the "Bible Believers" stopped at St. Peter Catholic Church on SE 87th Avenue in Portland Sunday morning.

"You're not true Christians!" one of the men yelled as the parishioners filmed the group outside St. Peter. "You're going to Hell!"

One of the men appears to be the counter-protester who was punched and knocked out during Sunday's PDX protest. Several media reports have identified him as Grant Chisholm, a designer who was dubbed by the Daily Beast as "The Hipster Fred Phelps."

"It was frightening. We were afraid because they seemed to be very, very angry. They never became physical but the first reaction of our children, even myself, was fear," said St. Peter Catholic Church Pastor Raul Marquez.

The group also disrupted a service at Access Covenant Church not far away, according to Pastor Joel Sommer.

"We were offering our own hearts to God in service of our neighbors and that's when one of these gentlemen came to the front and began screaming that God was going to destroy Muslims," Sommer recalled.

Both men say the situation was unnerving but are glad no one was hurt. Now they say they will be praying for the men, instead of harboring hate.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off