The following testimony was provided to Pulpit & Pen by New Vision Bible Church member Arlene Greer. We have been reporting on the unfortunate situation with nationally famous pastor Greg Locke for some time.
My name is Arlene Greer.
For most of my life, I was lost. In his mercy, God saved me seven years ago. The Holy Spirit convicted me of my sin and I submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in repentance and faith. Before I came to Christ, I lived for myself; I was very much addicted to drugs and alcohol but, most of all, I was dead in my sin. Now that God has saved me, I want to live for Him. Part of doing so involves faithfully attending a New Testament church. I am currently looking for a church to join after leaving Global Vision Bible Church (GVBC), founded and pastored by Gregory Duane Locke, in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. Like many others, my husband and I have left GVBC after suffering great disappointment.
We attended Global Vision for approximately two years and we very much enjoyed and appreciated the body. We liked Greg Locke’s style of preaching, he didn’t hold back from proclaiming the Bible. Everything at GVBC seemed to line up with scripture, except for the way the church was run. GVBC didn’t quite fit the mold of a New Testament church. The pastor was more of a speaker than a shepherd. My husband and I knew that Greg was a very busy man with a lot on his plate so we, like many others there, made excuse after excuse for him not conforming to the Biblical archetype of a pastor. At the very least, he was preaching the truth. Unfortunately, Greg’s lack of shepherding caught up with him and the members of GVBC. The ideas of false teachers, such as Joyce Meyer, began to be passed around the church. The prayer group had some very errant ideas. These are problems newer Christians, the kind GVBC tends to attract, wouldn’t notice. However, they were apparent to those who had been maturing in their faith. I warned Greg about the situation with false teachings amongst the body but nothing changed. Sadly, I believe there are many pastors who, while proclaiming truth, shy away from warning against error. Greg isn’t alone in this boat. However, the majority of pastors out there focus on their local churches, not their social media fame. Greg’s popularity on Facebook and other platforms seemed to be his main concern.
The elders of the church had been advising Greg to cut back on his travel schedule. They thought it was best for him to spend more time with his wife Melissa and their four children. (Melissa was uncomfortable with all the attention her family received on social media.) The elders also wanted to form a financial committee for GVBC because they questioned how money was being spent. Neither Greg nor his executive pastor Jarrod wanted or accepted this kind of accountability. They wouldn’t listen. Greg’s lack of shepherding, speaking schedule, and outward political focus came home to roost in October of last year. It was then that he announced that he was “broken” and was making some big changes that would cause those with “religious spirits” to leave GVBC. He said that he was the new Pastor Greg version 2.0. Pastor Greg 2.0, we would later learn, would be separating from his wife of twenty years.
Greg announced to the congregation that he had told his staff that it would be getting really rough around GVBC and that they would soon be walking through severe brokenness with him as a church. He said he told the staff that if this scared them that they could take 6 month’s pay in advance and leave. Greg said upon hearing this that none of the staff left. He soon addressed the congregation in an unaired sermon (not on the live stream available on the internet) and told everyone that his wife Melissa had lost her mind, cut her hair, and moved away. He told one visitor from Indiana that Melissa had been cutting herself. He said he and his wife were divorced.
I was floored. He painted Melissa as a disturbed woman who had abandoned her children and refused to talk to them. He made all of these public accusations in his capacity as GVBC’s pastor. Some people believed him but I did not. The Melissa I had known over the past two years was not a crazy child-abandoner. Greg’s announcement coincided with a shocking announcement from Chris McGee, the husband of the church secretary, Tai. Chris began to declare that Greg and Tai were messing around with one another. It was hard not to notice that Greg and Tai had been acting overly attentive to each other. In light of Greg saying he was divorced, when Chris made his announcement, it just made sense.
Uncomfortable with any kind of speculation about my pastor, I followed Matthew 18 and went to each of them privately, reaching out via text message. Both were rude and defensive to me. I encouraged them to repent, for the sake of themselves and the congregation. At that point, they wrote me off. I stopped attending GVBC. Greg Locke took the unusual step of preaching against me, by name, to the church. “Every church has an Arlene Greer!” he hollered from the pulpit. “You think you’re nervous now? You wait till the next five or six names keep running their mouth and I’ll call them from the pulpit. Don’t you think I won’t. Don’t you think I won’t.”
I’m not afraid of Greg Locke. This man went from recommending me to study the Bible at Union University to running me down before the whole congregation. What did he expect from someone who wanted to go deeper in God’s word, for me to not call him out about having an affair and sending his wife off?
When Greg’s mom, Judy, saw that I had been put out of GVBC she contacted me via Facebook messenger and asked me to call her. When I did she told me a lot. Judy was extremely upset about the entire situation. She said that Greg put Melissa on a bus and sent her away and that the kids were with her. She was extremely disgusted with Greg and Tai for having an affair and she reported to me that the kids were completely torn and that they missed Melissa really badly. Judy also told me that Greg was not helping her financially with the kids at the moment because of her objection to the affair. She said that Greg and Jarrod were very deceitful in their dealings with cash donations too. I was so upset to hear this that I contacted GVBC to ask for all my donations back.
Judy has now changed her story. It tends to change back and forth depending on how upset she gets with Greg. I struggled about coming forward for a while because the entire church had ousted me, including people whom I considered close friends. When I saw that Greg and Tai had been seen in public on a family outing that was posted to Facebook, I felt that I could finally come forward and hopefully find out what happened to dear Melissa.
This situation has been extremely hard for my family. It is hard for us to wrap our heads around the fact that our pastor just wasn’t the person that he claimed he was. We thought he was a noble man of integrity who loved his family and held close to the truth and to the standards of a pastor. He wasn’t. He won’t even address the matter without spinning his terms to fit lies and half-truths. He is stiff-necked and in total defense of his sin. He is unrepentant and has tried to throw his sweet wife, Melissa away and take everything from her, even her children. He has been attacking anyone who formerly attended GVBC, but is now speaking out on the matter. For this reason, others are afraid to speak out. For me, GVBC used to be a place of rest and love. When I was down, the church even helped me financially. Now, GVBC just seems like Greg Locke’s own personal piggy bank to me.
I don’t share my story to hurt Greg Locke. I don’t want to destroy him. I’m afraid many of the enemies he’s made on social media will seize on the opportunity of his infidelity to do so. They shouldn’t. Forgiveness comes from the same source, Christ. Whether it’s Greg and Tai or all the homosexual people on social media who are mad at Greg, it doesn’t matter. Christ forgives. He forgave me. A lot of people may point to my rough background to try and discredit me. Go ahead. I’m forgiven by Christ and I’m telling the truth. There are a lot of hurting people in Mt. Juliet right now; Greg’s internet fan-base should know what happened. To his internet fans and those still at GVBC, be careful with your money and who you trust. At the same time, always remember this:
If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. 2 Timothy 2:13
Please pray with me that Greg will repent and Melissa can get better and come home. There are people in Tennessee who love her and miss her. They don’t have to be scared of men, especially Greg Locke. They can speak up and share to all Locke’s internet fans what they need to know. Fear God and He will guide you.
[Edited by: Seth Dunn]
*Editor’s Note: I contacted Greg Locke’s mother, Judy Sumner, to verify the testimony provided by Arlene. Mrs. Sumner denies telling Arlene that Tai and Greg were having an affair. According to Mrs. Sumner, she relayed to Arlene that it was Melissa Locke’s belief that Greg and Tai were having an affair. Judy firmly stated that she did not believe that Greg and Tai were having an affair before Melissa left Mt. Juliet. Contradicting accounts provided to Pulpit & Pen by other parties in Mt. Juliet, Judy further stated that Melissa desired the divorce and left her marriage and town of her own accord and volition. Other GBVC church members are encouraged to speak out, especially if they have been in contact with Melissa, who remains in an out of state women’s shelter. Speculation about the matters being reported is not healthy.
**Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.