It started with his opening homily before a “marriage” ceremony…
“I would like to welcome you all to New Life Harvest Church. We have all come to witness the union between Michelle and Tiffany.
“I yearn to say we ‘celebrate’ this union, but, as the Pastor, and founding member of this Church, I cannot celebrate something that is an affront to almost all of my congregants, and an abomination before the Lord my God, Jesus Christ.
“These are harsh words, I know. They are not words that I speak with any joy, or malice aforethought. If my faith teaches anything, it is that Truth is sometimes harsh. But, my faith also teaches that the Truth is eternal, and best of all: it is Knowable.
“An integral part of the Knowledge of Truth is that the Living God is with us today –right here, right now. My faith teaches that the same God that formed as if in a cloud to guide Moses and the Israelites out of Egyptian captivity, is the same God that settled above the Ark of the Covenant in the Great Tent, and later again above the Temple, and was finally was revealed for the entire Race of Man as the shroud in the Temple was rent when Christ died on the Cross, and His infinite holiness was made available to us all, is the same God that created us every one, Man and Woman.
“My faith, therefore, teaches me that God is here today. By His own design, He no longer resides above the Temple, He reside where two or more are gathered in His Name, as we are right now, in this place. He resides where all people of earnest faith call on Him in the very quietude of their own intimate prayer life.
“This same knowable, magnificent Lord is here, right now. He had made covenant with us, his Church. He has revealed His heart to us. And that knowledge is written, where all can read it– in His holy scriptures.
“In those scriptures, He makes no accord for a marriage between a man and a man. Nor a woman with a woman. In fact, he is quite explicit, in many passages, that such behavior is an abomination in His eyes. This is the plain, knowable, truth. And we sit in this modest church –a house made for learning the deeper truths of his knowable word– and we cannot reject this truth.
“Thus, as licensed agent for the County of Monroe, I will, after asking a series of legal questions, pronounce that the two of you have entered into a legally binding contract to love, honor and cherish one another. However, I will not pronounce you married in the eyes of God.
“For I cannot do this. The Supreme Court of the United States says I must, but the knowable facts are that I cannot. No person can. I can stand here all day long, trying my best to rain down the Holy Spirit on this union. trying this incantation, or that. But God has made His heart known very clear to us. He will not bless such a marriage. And thus, I cannot ask Him to…”
Later, Michelle and Tiffany sued Pastor Nick. They claimed they were not aware that the Pastor would speak as he did– although Pastor Nick said he would follow the laws of the United States– which he did, and nothing more. Michelle and Tiffany were legally married. He was indicted anyway for violation of the Schumer Hate Speech Act passed in 2017. The District Court overturned the ruling, pointing out the clear fact that the Pastor said nothing hateful. He had, in fact, performed the legal ceremony. The case was bounced up and down the federal system, until finally it reached the Supreme Court in late 2019. It ruled that the Pastor had, indeed, violated the HSA,
The New Life Harvest Church did not have the resources to pay the plaintiff’s award, and Pastor Nick said he would “render to Caesar that which was Caesar’s, but he would not pay a penalty to a party in a fraudulent lawsuit.” When President Clinton sent the Marshall Service into his home on April 14, 2021 for resisting a federal court order, his neck was broken when the federal agents were attempting to handcuff him.
It was Good Friday.