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‘This Is Where It Gets Crazy’—Pastor Ed Newton Shares the Rest of the Story of the Man Shouting Profanity in Church

In the original service, Newton was clear that the church was not about to give Tony a bunch of money and send him on his way. He and those at CBC were committed to intentionally and effectively walking alongside Tony.

Tony’s Story Continues

The assistant police chief, also a member of the church, met Newton, Michael, and Tony after the service in Newton’s office. When people mention intent to harm themselves as Tony did during his exchange with Newton, there is a specific protocol to get that person help and evaluation, the assistant police chief explained. She was making it possible for Tony to be on his way to a 72-hour hold at a mental facility.

“This is where this gets crazy,” recalled Newton. Tony was anxious and looking for a cigarette. Newton explained that there were cigarettes, vape pens, condoms, and a switchblade in a cabinet leftover from a recent deliverance service. “It was the first time anyone had smoked in my office.”

Tony went to the mental facility for more than three days. The church has stayed in touch with Tony during and after his stay at the facility. He had a choice to go to rehab or back on the streets. Tony chose to return to the streets.

Newton updated the church with Tony’s decision and challenged them to befriend him and love him when they saw him. One church member has met with Tony periodically.

“I got a bus ticket, Ed,” Tony later exclaimed. “I’m going to rehab.”

Michael ‘Preached a Sermon’ That Day

Michael, the churchgoer who picked up Tony, was also in the interview. He reiterated his story from the church service. Michael came late to an earlier service at CBC and was moved by the content of Newton’s sermon.

On the way home, he noticed a possibly unhoused woman on the side of the street asking for money. Michael drove to a nearby restaurant to get her some food, but when he returned to her location, she had already moved on.

He then noticed Tony lying down and offered him some of the food. Michael saw the tears well up in Tony’s eyes at the offering, and sat down to listen. Tony shared more of his story, challenges, and that he was contemplating taking his own life.

“You were meeting a physical need,” Ruslan voiced. “But there must have been something in your temperament and demeanor that made him comfortable enough to share this stuff with you.”

Michael and Tony chatted for a while. Tony asked where Michael was that morning, and he shared that he had just come from church. Michael shared, “He hopped up and said, ‘I want to go to church.'” So Michael brought Tony to the next service that day.

“Michael is probably the most humble, meek dude you’ll ever meet in your life,” said Newton. He “leaves the 99 to go after the one.” Newton said that Michael gave the sermon that day.

Ruslan affirmed what happened in the service that day. He recalled the phrase, “The structure has to submit to whatever the Spirit is doing.”

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Janna serves as Director of Women's Ministries at LifeSpring Covenant Church. You'll find her engaging in authentic conversation, enjoying a good laugh, or embarking on an outdoor adventure. Janna has contributed to several books for women and youth in the church, spoken to women's groups across the country, led small groups, and found a deep appreciation for soul care. She lives in Colorado with her husband and two sons.