Pastor speaks out about viral Facebook post

SAL PASTORCOMMENT PIC

Joyner reads his resignation letter aloud in a Sweet Home Baptist Church pew.

An Alabama pastor’s comments went viral thanks to a post on Facebook. He claims they weren’t his words, and that he was misquoted.

Allen Joyner is the pastor at Sweet Home Baptist Church in Mckenzie. He’s also been the volunteer announcer for the Mckenzie Tigers Football team for ten years. He held that position until the past week, when he resigned due to the Facebook backlash.

“I’m stepping down as announcer. I don’t know how you resign from a volunteer position, but I’m stepping down,” he says. “But I’m not backing up from my beliefs.”

Right before the National Anthem played at the Mckenzie versus the Houston County Lions game, Joyner made a statement concerning the recent national controversy surrounding standing for the National Anthem. He says his comments were shared on Facebook by a woman from the visiting team, but she misquoted him.

“What i said was, ‘if you don’t want to stand for our national anthem, we’ll take time to tell you about the people who served and gave you that right to sit,'” he says. “And I never said… I used the term take a shot, down here that means ‘give an effort’. The misquote came where she said, ‘if anyone don’t want to stand for the National Anthem, line up by the fence and we’ll let the military take shots at you as they’ve been taking shots for you.’ Well that sounded good, but that’s not what I said.”

Since then Joyner, his family, and the school have been recieving threatening messages from people across the nation. Some are simply criticizing Joyner, others are threatening him and his family with violence. He does say his congregation at Sweet Home is standing with him.

“And I tried to… minister that to learn a lesson… To guard our words. I couldn’t. And then one man of our church come and stood beside me. And before it was over, every man in the church was standing beside me,” he adds with tears in his eyes.

Joyner also feels sorry for the woman who posted the original message, who has since deleted her Facebook account.

“I would just love for her to know that we pray for her. Because she has been thrown under the bus. And I apologize for that.”

Butler County Superintendent Amy Bryan also issued a statement over the incident, saying “The Butler County School System does not tolerate any violence, in jest or a serious threat.”

Joyner admits he shouldn’t have shared his patriotic beliefs at the football field, but is still standing by his original statement. He says he just wishes he would have chosen a better venue and different words.

Categories: South Alabama