Harassment Charges for Church Discipline Dismissed
On April 20, 2015, the court dismissed all harassment charges arising from Harvest Bible Chapel of King of Prussia counseling members as part of church discipline.
“Pastor Townsend and his leaders were not afraid to stand up for what is right and to stand strongly upon their right to practice their religion as God has called them to do,” said Defense Attorney Jeff Conrad of Clymer Conrad PC.
“[We] give all of the praise and glory to God for this victory in stopping the unconstitutional prosecution of the Church.”
Harvest Bible Chapel leaders had attempted to council two members of the church to persuade the couple to stop gossiping within the church. In response the couple contacted Detective Jerome Staquet of Upper Merion Township Police Department. On February 25, 2015, Satquet filed harassment charges against Pastor Matt Townsend, Assistant Pastor Scott Allison, and Elders Timothy Cole, Howard Sizemore, and Bevan Greiner of Harvest Bible Chapel.
At the April 20, 2015, trial before Magisterial District Judge James P. Gallagher of Bridgeport, Pennsylvania, Conrad said, “Judge Gallagher quickly saw … the unconstitutional nature of the charges and dismissed all counts against both pastors and all of the elders.”