missionaries

Pennsylvania Pastor and Church Charged in Mock Raid, Kidnapping

RNS photo by JOE HERMITT, The Patriot-News

John Lanza, pastor at Glad Tidings Assembly of God Church. RNS photo by JOE HERMITT, The Patriot-News

It was supposed to be a realistic lesson on the dangers missionaries sometimes face overseas.

But after a mother’s complaint that her teen daughter was injured and terrorized during a mock terrorist kidnapping staged by the Glad Tidings Assembly of God Church in Lower Swatara, Pa. it might be up to a criminal jury to decide whether the church crossed the line.

Almost four months after the fake raid and complaint by the mother of a 14-year-old girl identified only as K.T., police on July 27 charged Youth Pastor Andrew Jordan and, in an unusual move, the church itself.

Jordan and the Glad Tidings church are charged with one count of false imprisonment and one count of simple assault.

While at least one legal expert said charging the church is novel, authorities said they felt they had to act to protect other children.

Church’s Mock Raid Leaves Teen Traumatized

RNS photo by JOE HERMITT, The Patriot-News.

John Lanza, pastor at Glad Tidings Assembly of God Church. RNS photo by JOE HERMITT, The Patriot-News.

The men burst into the church classroom and ordered the 15 teens in the youth group to the floor.

They covered the teens' heads with pillowcases and bound their hands. One man waved an unloaded gun, and another yelled, his face daubed with camouflage paint.

The kids gathered at the Glad Tidings Assembly of God Church and had planned to partake in youth ministry activities at 7 p.m. Wednesday (March 21).

Instead, they found themselves face down, hugging the linoleum floor, said the Rev. John Lanza, who described what happened. If they listened, they wouldn't get hurt, their assailants said.

Is Tim Tebow on God's Fantasy Football Team?

When asked why he’s so vocal about his beliefs, Tebow says, "If you're married, and you have a wife, and you really love your wife, is it good enough to only tell your wife that you love her on the day you get married? Or should you tell her every single day when you wake up and have the opportunity? That's how I feel about my relationship with Jesus Christ."

Wow, I can see why God would like him. And why fans of Cinderella stories would too. This season, as the Bronco's starting quarterback, Tebow has led his team to several dramatic victories, battling back from trailing scores in the last quarter. He’s a gifted athlete, and one who seems to be genuinely humble about it.

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