Now, Pastor Greg Locke is a demon slayer

This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on March 14, 2023.

Nashville pastor Greg Locke gained national notoriety for his rebellion against COVID precautions, his denial of the pandemic itself and his enthusiastic support for Donald Trump.

Now he’s found new life as a demon slayer.

“It was never about the controversy. It was never about the politics. I thought it was. I thought it was about Trump. I thought it was about COVID. But God built our platform for deliverance,” Locke says in his new self-produced documentary, Come Out in Jesus’ Name.

The film, released March 13, portrays Locke’s new partnership with “a diverse group of demon-slaying preachers as they began to spark one of the greatest awakenings in the history of the Christian church.”

That “awakening” is not the Asbury revival or any movement most Americans have heard of. It is, instead, something living in the subculture of the New Apostolic Reformation, a fringe movement linked to the kind of Christian nationalism Locke knows so well.

This is the world of demons and evil spirits and exorcisms and signs and wonders.

Demon slaying through baptism

Locke says he began his career as a demon slayer during a baptism service one Sunday. As people were cycling through to be immersed in Global Vision Bible Church’s horse trough baptistry, Locke noticed a young girl in the water with her grandmother holding her from behind.

“I put the grandmother down into the water. And as I was putting the grandmother into the water, there was no problem,” Locke recalls. “But that young girl, that 8- or 9-year-old kid, put her hands and her fingers and her claws up in our face and she began to hit us and growl.”

“That young girl, that 8- or 9-year-old kid, put her hands and her fingers and her claws up in our face and she began to hit us and growl.”

Rather than wondering if the girl might simply be afraid of being pulled under water from behind while an entire congregation cheered, Locke assumed she was being controlled by a demon, characterized her as growling with claws, and became afraid himself.

“I was afraid of her, of an 8- or 9-year-old girl with a demon in her,” he remembers. But despite his fear of the little girl, he quickly moved on, noting, “We get them out of the baptistry, they walk away, and I’m going right to the next one.”

Locke identifies this moment as the catalyst for accepting his apostolic power.

“When the girl flared up in the baptistry, my very first reaction is to deny that that happened,” he explains. “But the fact that it did happen brought me to this moment … . Because if that never would’ve transpired, I never would’ve understood, ‘You know what? I really do have power. I really do have authority that’s been given me by Jesus. And shame on me that I have let the Pharisees in my life and the denominational hierarchy tell me that I have no power and no authority when Jesus clearly gave me power and authority over unclean spirits.’”

Afraid of being a ‘charismaniac’

Locke hasn’t always believed in or practiced supernatural gifts of the Spirit, he explains. “I looked at the Bible through the lens of being a Baptist. And I mean capital B-A-P-T-I-S-T.”

Referring to the belief that miraculous spiritual gifts ceased after the death of the first century apostles, Locke said, “I was a cessationist amongst all cessationists. I believed every gift ceased.”

Later, Locked began to change his mind about the continuation of supernatural gifts based on his reading of the Bible and on his experiences on overseas mission trips, he says. “One day I began to read the book of Acts that there was a lot of people that did apostolic things that weren’t apostles. And I thought to myself, ‘Have I been lied to? Have I been duped? Have I been deceived?”

Continue reading at Baptist News Global.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *