Associate pastor Jaddeus Dempsey was filmed on April 15 telling young people to spit, hit and stab him with a knife, which they did, at the Impact City Church in Pataskala, Ohio.
In response to parental outrage, lead pastor Justin Ross posted a video apology on Facebook.
Ross explained that Dempsey was sharing a message about Easter and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, which included spitting and assault in the Bible.
Ross gave a more detailed explanation to WBNS:
We exist to create an environment that is safe and predictable for students to come, connect with their friends and grow closer to God. Today we failed at creating that safe, predictable environment. We want to do better.That’s something that I’m thinking about a lot right now. What could we have done to handle the situation better.
Dempsey said his piece in the apology video:
I crossed the line and it was over the top. It was just not appropriate and it was in bad judgment. I am so sorry for misrepresenting the community, the church, the parents, and the students -anybody that I hurt. This was not my intention.
My intention was to just show them how much Jesus loves them and that I love them as a student leader for almost four years now. Tonight was an anomaly and it is not normally what happens. Again, I am deeply sorry for the pain that I have caused.