Not even churches are safe from protest.
Last Sunday, a group of five to seven people entered Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., clad with signs and aiming to protest the church for naming lesbian co-pastors Sally Sarratt and Maria Swearingen.
But the safe space remained safe. Police arrived at the scene after receiving a phone call, and the protesters were moved outside to the sidewalk in front of the church, where they were “aggressively engaging” passersby and members arriving to the church service, according to Baptist News Global.
The church named the two women as the congregation’s new senior ministers on Jan. 9 of this year. They were married in 2014 after South Carolina legalized same-sex marriage.
They are set to begin their work as co-pastors next month on Feb. 26.
Associate Pastor Elijah Zehyoue claimed the protest was “disturbing and unnerving.”
The protesters did not name the pastors during the incident, but did claim that members of the church “were going to hell” because of their choice to have LGBT pastors, calling the church “the house of Satan.”
Church Moderator Becky Vaughn said the incident was relatively peaceful.
“There was no effort to do harm, and they did move out to the sidewalk,” she said.
When the protesters moved outside, roughly 15 members of the church stayed at the front door and sang hymns.
The service went on as scheduled — Pastor Erica Lea preached about unity.