Stone took some time off, saying he would concentrate on his family and an upcoming project about a “great treasure.” But then he returned to preaching.
Late last month, a woman interrupted Stone during a worship service, yelling that he was a “nasty perv” who “kept touching” people. As security led her away, according to the Times Free Press, the pastor threatened her with arrest and a lawsuit “for making statements like that.” Stone added, “You’ve talked to people who told 16 lies on my wife and I!” Later, when questioned by a reporter, he didn’t elaborate on what those lies were.
After that confrontation, Stone said people have misjudged his actions. “I am not a perfect man,” he said, but “people have taken me hugging and kissing them on the cheek wrong. I quit that. I’m Italian. My whole family holds hands, rubs backs. I didn’t know you can look at somebody and say, ‘Hey, how you doing?’ and they can take it wrong.” False accusers, the pastor added, will eventually face God’s judgment.
‘Ugly Fish’ and Hecklers
In a Facebook post last month, Stone described a dream featuring seven ugly, evil fish that were interfering with pastoral missions work. Those people will suffer and even possibly die, he wrote. The day after being confronted in public, Stone labeled that woman as one of the ugly fish, “already marked by God to face a significant loss.”
Of the heckling incident, longtime Stone employee Bryan Cutshall said, “What you just witnessed happened at the trial of Jesus the day before he was crucified. This is Satan and his plan against Jesus and those who support him. You’ve just come into the trial of Jesus.”
Perry Stone: ‘You’re Not Going to Run Me Off’
The FBI also is reportedly investigating the finances of Stone’s ministry, which has made donations to the local sheriff’s office and hires off-duty officers as security. Some people with ties to Stone’s organizations, which also include Omega Center International and International School of the Word, allege the pastor distributes cash, cars, and housing payments to certain people. The Times Free Press reports that Stone has allegedly threatened the jobs of female employees if they reject his overtures.
Earlier this month, Stone said he received a message from God that Satan is trying to damage his reputation and stop his work. Discussing past sin is “demonic” and “perverted,” he said, adding, “God told me to build this place, and you’re not going to run me off.”
On Sunday, Stone posted about a personal message from the Holy Spirit, warning him of “people who were plotting and making war against me and my ministry.” The next day, he pointed fingers at the mainstream media, telling online followers he knows “how media works” and that “it’s about the advertising dollars,” not necessarily about truth.
“Information can be twisted by the god of this world so easily,” Stone said. “It has been proven, they will give a false scenario and then, you know, two, three years down the road come back and apologize for it.”