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December 15, 1981 |
Shelby, North Carolina,
Creighton Lee Lovelace (born December 15, 1981) is Pastor of Danieltown Baptist Church in Forest City, North Carolina. Lovelace and his church received brief international attention in May 2005 over a controversial sign on church grounds that stated, "The Koran needs to be flushed!"
This appeared in The Daily Courier, the local newspaper covering Forest City, in a story written by Josh Humphries shortly after a May 1, 2005, report in Newsweek that United States officials had flushed a Koran down a toilet at Guantanamo Bay (see Qur'an desecration controversy of 2005). That statement proved to be false and Newsweek apologized on May 15. Apparently a Koran had been desecrated in some way, but not involving a toilet. The original report received widespread international attention and sparked protests in Muslim countries. 15 people in Afghanistan died in a protest riot over the story.
Lovelace and his church posted the sign as the Newsweek controversy unfolded. This inflammatory message received attention from the Associated Press, all major United States news networks, and various international publications. In a May 25 MSNBC interview, Lovelace denied that his congregation desecrated any actual Korans. Unapologetic for the sign, he said the message was "a figure of speech." In conservative Christian theology Muslims cannot enter heaven.
From a Christianity Today story about the Danieltown Baptist Church sign, "Muslims have a saying: 'Kill me, but do not mock my faith.' In Islamic jurisprudence, blasphemy is considered a capital crime, and the laws of states such as Pakistan reflect this. Muslims around the world will feel this sign is an attack on their honor, and in Muslim cultures honor can only be avenged with blood. Inevitably local Christians in Iraq and Pakistan, missionaries, and anyone with white skin will be considered fair game, as will church buildings." No specific attacks on Christians or United States citizens have been linked to this incident.
Following two days of intense and universally negative press coverage, Lovelace issued an apology. On June 8, 2005 the Associated Baptist Press reported that Danieltown Baptist Church had withdrawn from the Southern Baptist Convention, the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina and the local Sandy Run Baptist Association.
Lovelace graduated from Chase High School in 2000 and was previously active in the school's Future Farmers of America program serving as Chapter President for two terms 1998-2000 and as Western Regional N.C. Vice President (1999–2000). He also advocates a King James Only position by promoting the Defined King James Bible and his annual "Bible Revivals." He is married to Heather Foss. He also served as past state chairman of the North Carolina Constitution Party but left switching his party affiliation to Republican. In 2008 he endorsed U.S. Congressman Ron Paul for president. He is also a member of the Pro Geocentric Association for Biblical Astronomy. In 2011, his first book, It Could Happen To You was published by Tate Publishing of Mustang, Oklahoma.
- Danieltown Baptist Church
- MSNBC Interview With Creighton Lovelace (video download, transcript cited above in text)
- The Digital Courier
- The Muslim News Online
- Baptist Press News
- Associated Press as carried in a Russian newspaper
- Daily Times (Pakistan)