BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — On Friday a threat was delivered to the “Radical” ministry, led by former Church of Brook Hills pastor and current International Mission Board President David Platt, warning that violent acts would be committed against the Secret Church gathering scheduled to take place tonight at the church.
The Church of Brook Hills staff and early learning preschool was immediately evacuated, and police and fire departments were called to do a sweep of the building.
Though no immediate threats were found at the building, the event will no longer take place physically at the Church at Brook Hills Friday night. However, the event is not canceled, it will still simulcast online to the tens of thousands who signed up to participate around the world. Those who had committed to attend the event on campus at the church will receive further communication from Radical Ministries on how to tune in this evening.
“We want to ensure the safety of our staff and members, and all those who are going to participate,” Chris Kinsley, the Church’s communications director, told Yellowhammer Friday afternoon. “We live in a world where our fellow Christians around the world face threats on a daily basis. We’re lucky enough to live in a country where that is unusual, but when it does happen we want to take it seriously but also not allow it to cause us to shrink back from the message we have to share.”
In April of 2014, the fourteenth edition of Secret Church included 60,090 participants. At least one church in every state hosted a simulcast and churches in 81 foreign countries participated as well.
Every Secret Church has been recorded and translated into 12 different foreign languages that encompass approximately 70 percent of all speakers on the planet, accomplishing another one of the organizers’ goals — to give seminary-level teaching to Christians all over the world, especially those in countries where they are persecuted.
This story is developing and will be updated once more details are available.
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— Elizabeth BeShears (@LizEBeesh) January 21, 2015