Locked Out: A Former Global Vision Church Member Speaks Out About Greg Locke
My name is Lori Pierce. Five years ago, my family and I began attending Global Vision Bible Church (GVBC) in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. We had heard its pastor, Greg Locke, preach online and we really liked his expository preaching style. We had been attending another local church but felt we needed to experience deeper exposition of God’s word. GVBC was a bare bones church; there was nothing fancy and the children’s program was very basic. We found Greg to be genuine and down to earth. His wife, Melissa, was very quiet but also very sweet. We hit it off with the Lockes because both our families have adopted children. Greg seemed to love his church family and did things such as ride his bike and pray at every member’s house at New Year’s (technically GVBC does not have official “members” who can vote on church affairs). He also rode his bike across America to help raise awareness about sex trafficking. We loved Greg’s dedication and humbleness. GVBC really did a lot for the community, especially considering the small size of the congregation, such as giving away turkeys to the poor at Thanksgiving.
A couple of years after we started attending GVBC, Greg decided to start posting videos on Facebook. He posted a lot of encouraging messages with some of his conservative political views mixed in. We really liked them at first, but then there came a point where Greg’s video messages were more focused on politics than the Bible. All of the sudden, Greg just started going on rants without doing substantial background research into his subject matter. Thus, a lot of the claims he made while ranting were false. One example is a video accusing our local school system of indoctrinating our children into Islam. Our children go to the local public school and Greg’s accusation was simply not true. We had a child in the class in question at that time and indeed the curriculum covered Islam but it also covered other world religions. We did not feel our children were being indoctrinated into Islam at all.
Due to Greg’s Facebook videos, the church and the Facebook ministry grew. Attendance started to swell rapidly, and Greg started adding services. We had visitors from all over. As the church grew, so did Greg’s head. He was traveling all of the time to speak at various places. He was inserting himself more and more into the political arena. A year ago my husband and I started growing weary of that and determined that the church was no longer the same. GVBC seemed to be all about Greg Locke and it became very cliquish. Then came the focus on Planned Parenthood (PP). Don’t get me wrong, I am just as much against abortion as any Bible-believing Christian. I have an adopted child for goodness sake. The issue we had with Greg was that he was spending more energy on goading PP then fighting against abortion. Greg was using church funds to go deliver the hate mail that he had received to the PP headquarters in DC instead of going and praying with people at abortion clinics, such as another local pastor does. We felt like Greg just wanted attention on himself. Nevertheless my husband and I did stand up for him after he began receiving a lot of hateful Facebook messages. Even though he seemed to be getting cocky, we still believed Greg was genuine.
The church continued to change for the worst. All of the elders left. Greg started adding all kinds of staff and nothing was announced. One of the things we loved when we first started attending was the transparency and how leadership devoted one night to go over the past year’s financials. This was no longer the case. It seemed like Greg’s right hand man, Executive Pastor Jarrod Almond, didn’t want anyone to know what was going on with church finances. Greg and Jarrod were asked by an elder (all of the elders subsequently left) to start a financial committee to oversee the finances. Jarrod was totally against doing so, which is preposterous considering almost every church has one. It began to seem like money was being spent on staff cars, homes, and other things that no one was supposed to know about. Two golf carts were purchased and we still have no idea what they were for. GVBC does not sit on a lot of acreage. Jarrod ran off many people as he was controlling and just downright hateful. With all the money coming in from the internet ministry, local attenders became less important and anyone with questions was expendable. Jarrod and Greg seemed to keep everyone in the dark. One of the Locke children happened to be in my car one day playing with one of my kids and he announced his dad told them they were rich. What kid would make that up?
The prayer group became problematic as well. The ladies who ran it seemed to run the church as well. People started coming forward and saying that they were asked to leave because some of the prayer ladies didn’t like their ideas. On one January day, Greg Locke and some of his children happened to be at the skating rink at the same time as my family and I. I asked him about certain ladies that had come forward with horror stories from the prayer group. Greg provided me all kinds of excuses, such as the women who had been run off were actually trying to take over the prayer ministry and had been causing problems. I had never in my life been to a church where the prayer ladies were so rude and unwelcoming. The fact that Greg allowed this spoke volumes to me.
Although we were weary of what was happening we still loved our church. We invited our neighbors and friends to attend. They did and they loved Greg’s preaching. However, there was a shift in his preaching. This past fall, Greg seemed to get very vitriolic. The humble Greg Locke was nowhere to be found. He then started preaching about a tree he would go sit by and how God was changing him. My husband and I were baffled as what he was saying seemed to make no sense. Our neighbors even sensed how rude Greg came across as he began to tell people to leave if they couldn’t handle Greg Locke 2.0. In November, Greg made the announcement at church that he and Melissa were divorcing. We were not there but heard about it later. People began to criticize Greg for breaking from his wife. I defended him because I believed his stories that he was being abandoned and not seeking a divorce. I lost friends because of my defense of Greg and the church. When Pulpit & Pen broke the news of Greg’s infidelity, I defended my pastor and was banned from its Facebook page. I thought Pulpit & Pen were horrible for going after Greg and GVBC. I tried to reach out to Melissa via the cell phone number I had for her but I received no reply. Little did I know, that Greg had taken her church-issued phone. Something in the back of my head told me something wasn’t right. I conveyed my concerns to my husband and he thought we should step away from reading about GVBC in social media and blogs. We prayed for God to reveal anything we needed to know.
Shortly thereafter, my friend texted me the Pulpit & Pen article that came out with Greg’s nasty text messages to his wife. I was so heart broken. My husband looked at them and said, “We are done.” These text messages conveyed how horrible Greg talked and still talks to Melissa. The fact that he called her fat and put down her hair cut shows how controlling and vicious he is. My husband and I were appalled. Greg never apologized for how he talked to Melissa or said it was wrong. He made excuses. Melissa is one of the most Biblical women I have ever known. She stood by his side for over twenty years, hardly living a luxurious life. Greg texted us a few weeks after we stopped attending GVBC asking where we were and if he could do anything for us. We replied that we were having a hard time with what was going on and we would like to sit down and talk with him. He agreed but never gave us a time and date when we could get together. We haven’t heard from him since. We now know he was just wanting to verify if we had left the church or not. I thought if they were divorcing, Greg would take time off and go somewhere with his children and get counseling and do everything he could for them. We were appalled at what we saw. He started dating his secretary, Tai Cowan, and telling people he was “moving on with his life.” Someone had sent out a picture of Greg and Tai together at a basketball game. I sent it to Greg and asked about it and he said he was just going to watch the game and was moving on with his life. I took that to mean he was just getting out. I had no idea it meant he was dating Tai! The odd thing is I told my husband a couple of years ago that I felt the church secretary (who was also Melissa’s best friend) was infatuated with Greg. It was apparent by the way she acted around him and looked at him. Greg’s children had started to talk about things that were going on with their dad and his secretary and it didn’t match the story Greg was telling.
Greg Locke is not the man we thought he was. He thinks of the church and the ministry as his, not God’s. His wife and kids are not his first priority. He even stated from the pulpit that he didn’t help with homework because he already had to do homework when he was their age. I recently got wind that his children didn’t have money on their accounts at school to eat lunch. I had heard so many rumors that I wanted to verify it for myself. I called the school and asked about a certain Locke child and the school verified that he had no money on his account. I asked if he did indeed eat in the cafeteria or if he brought his lunch. They knew him and said he did eat in the cafeteria. They said they let kids with no credit in their account go into the negative to a certain point but then stopped granting it. I put money on the Locke child’s account because I have children and it broke my heart that his own daddy wasn’t giving him lunch money. With everything these kids have gone through, eating should not be a concern. This is just an example of how Greg puts his wants and his needs above everyone else’s. He constantly posts pictures of himself at the gym or in his car. If you ask him about anything, he will whine about how much hurt he and his family have gone through. He caused his own hurt. He never fought for his marriage. He lies straight from the pulpit saying Melissa filed but what he doesn’t tell you is that she stopped her divorce proceedings and begged to reconcile. He filed his own divorce suit but you will not hear him admit that. Melisa stood by his side for so many years and he left her with next to nothing. It’s like he doesn’t want her to succeed or get ahead in life. I wish all of his online followers knew what a fraud he was. There are people giving their hard earned money to a fraudulent “church.” So many families, believers, and non-believers have been hurt by all of this. The people still there and still supporting him will have to answer to God. Greg Locke needs to repent and step down. Ezekiel 34:1-31 comes to my mind. Greg doesn’t realize that he is not respected in our town, especially by Godly pastors. It is embarrassing to even tell people where we went to church. When we are visiting other churches, they ask where we went to church before. When we tell them, people shake their heads in disgust.
I know that I will probably get bombarded with hate mail due to this expose but it needed to come out. I want other people to be aware of false pastors. I mean, what if any of these people needed Christian counseling for their relationships? They certainly could not get it from Greg Locke. What would he tell them? Divorce your wife/husband and take up with the secretary/spouse’s best friend? Please reconsider your support of Greg Locke and GVBC. I supported him for years. I don’t anymore.
Member of the Evangelical Theological Society
Certified Public Accountant
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