WNC Citizens Blog

Christians Arrested In Hickory For Sharing Their Faith

I received this in my email this morning:

HICKORY -It’s been two weeks since police arrested brothers Jesse and Matthew Boyd for sharing their faith on a public street during the Jaycees’ “Hickory Alive” event. And as of July 11, the city had yet to drop the charges or apologize for violating the pair’s First Amendment right to free speech.

“It is truly a sad day in America, the supposed ‘Land of the Free’,” wrote Jesse Boyd, 32, president of Conover-based Full Proof Gospel Ministries shortly after being charged with second-degree trespassing for “distributing Gospel tracts freely at a free public access event on the town square in Hickory.”

The Christian Law Association of Seminole, Fla., is representing the Boyds and Gibbs Law Firm, general counsel for CLA, issued a letter July 1 to the City of Hickory, the Hickory Police Department and the Hickory Jaycees asking that charges be dismissed and that the organizations not interfere with the Boyds’ First Amendment right to distribute religious literature at future events in Hickory.

Source: Christian Action League


This act should not be tolerated by the people of Hickory. I have seen people handing out religious and political tracts at nearly every public event I have ever attended, and they have never been disruptive in my presence, or I guarantee you that they would be on video...for my camera is always with me, ready to go at a moments notice.

These guys also took video. From a cell phone:

There were three other gentlemen, including Bishnu, with us doing the work of evangelism last night. The police specifically told my friends they were trespassing by handing out religious literature. The ironic thing is that I initially got involved in a witnessing conversation with a Catholic when we first arrived. So, by virtue of the circumstance, I personally had not opportunity to give out a single Gospel tract. My entire time before the arrest was spent in conversation. As soon as the conversation was over, I saw that my friends were being hassled by the police. I simply approached, turned the video camera on, and asked about what was transpiring. I then asked a total of three questions, and for that, I was arrested. I, personally, was never told to leave, and I never refused to leave. I also had not had opportunity to do what they were claiming was in violation of the law. The charge against me reads that I was refused entrance to the town square by the man in charge of the event and two police officers and that I adamantly refused to leave, entering against their orders. Of course, none of these men ever approached ME with such orders. This whole thing is so ludicrous that I almost chuckle thinking about it. Earlier in the evening, as mentioned, my friends were told that it was ok for us to be there and talk to people, but we were not allowed to distribute Gospel tracts. This is amazing, because the Hickory Code of Ordinances says clearly in Section 21-2: "No person shall distribute any circulars or other advertising matter within the fire limits of the city, provided, THAT THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO RELIGIOUS LITERATURE CIRCULATED FROM PERSON TO PERSON." At the root of the whole issue was Gospel tracts, and this is a right clearly protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution (follow this link to see how the U.S. Supreme Court has addressed this specific issue over the years: http://www.solidrockfaith.com/gospeltracts.pdf )

Source: Full Proof Gospel Ministries

The video is not on a video sharing site (yet), and I suggest you take a look at them.

If you feel so moved, you may contact the Hickory Police Department to inquire further on this case.

Anybody up for a ride to Hickory?

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This used to be one of several political commentary blogs I ran until I got tired of updating several blogs, and consolidated them on Thunder Pig, and moved the group blogs to a Ning network.

These photos are a reflection of where I am throughout the day, and a celebration of life west of the Balsam mountain range in western North Carolina.


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