CHICAGO – Last Sunday night, a man in drag that had been attending Chicago's Power House Ministries was confronted by Pastor Antonio Rocquemore during the worship service.
The confrontation was broadcast on Facebook and as of Friday morning, the post has over 1 million views. The pastor is being criticized for publicly confronting the man dressed as a woman. In response, Rocquemore responded in a Facebook live broadcast the next day.
"He is a full member of the Power House International Ministries, he's not a stranger off the street," Rocquemore said on Facebook. "It was also said that he was put out because he was gay. That's wrong. I don't separate sin. Sin is sin. When you single something out, it doesn't make sense."
Despite reports, the man dressed as a woman was not told to not return to the church and security was not told to take him out.
"When you join my church, all the rules and regulations are told then. If you slip up, we will talk to you privately," the pastor said. "I went to him personally myself. He said I joined this church because I wanted to sit under a man and wanted you to lead me and show me how to be a man.
"All I can do is pray for you outside the church. There's nothing I can do for you. We don't allow you to dress like a female in church," Rocqemore said.
Other religious leaders among Chicago's conservative movement sided with Rocquemore.
"I'm not sure I would have done it the same way, but I totally agree with observing some standards within the House of God that I am shepherding," Caesar LeFlore told Illinois Review. "I would probably had asked to speak with him in private, shared the same message with him, and then explained to congregants why I felt it important to do so. Would have referred to Paul's teaching about order in the Body of Christ."
Rocquemore had privately confronted the man with his dress beforehand – as other members had, he said on his Facebook page.
"I'm glad the pastor stood up for Biblical standards when this person confronted him publicly," Dr. Eric Wallace said when told about the situation. "The Church is being challenged by the LGBTQ community and we should expect more of this in the days ahead."
Pastor Rocquemore said if the man in drag returned Sunday dressed as a man, he would be welcomed to return.
Pastor Rocquemore's Facebook Live response: