By Teresa Woodard
10:07 p.m. CDT, November 1, 2010
DES PERES, MO (KTVI-FOX2now.com) — A man dressed as Jesus was kicked out of a St. Louis area church Sunday. Police were even called to get in the middle of the spiritual showdown.
"We're called to be ambassadors for Jesus Christ, ambassadors should represent, and that's what I do. I try to represent my Lord and savior Jesus Christ," said Neal Thompson Monday night, wearing the same white robe and cross, and carrying the same staff he's been using every Sunday for 22 years.
He dresses up like Jesus every week, going to a new church every week, he says, to spread his Christian message.
"He said 'Take up your cross, your breastplate, and your staff and follow in Jesus Christ's footsteps and wear a white robe to show your sincerity,'" he said. "That's my job, to spread the word."
He says he is questioned most weeks, but then welcomed. But when he tried to enter St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Des Peres, he was not allowed in.
"One of the deacons saw me," he said, "and when I went in the church he met me and he said, 'Can I help you? What do you want?' I said, 'I want to go to church here today.' And he said, 'What do you believe in? Are you Christian? What religion are you?' I said, 'I'm a Christian.'"
Thompson said he was not allowed in the sanctuary. Church members told him he'd have to sit in the hallway.
"And I said, 'Well this ain't right, you guys ain't treating me right.' He said, 'We're gonna call the police.' I said, 'Well call them, I don't care. Call them.' So I sat down and the next thing I know four or five police showed up."
The church secretary referred us to Des Peres police, who did not even write a report. They say Thompson wasn't causing a scene, but they asked him to leave and he did, peacefully.
"Oh I forgive them, I forgive them," said Thompson.
He said this was only the second time he's been kicked out of a church in the last 22 years.
He says he'll try to go to St. Paul's Lutheran again some day, but police told him he should try to set up an appointment with the pastor before his next visit.
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