On September 29, 2006 seven men went to preach the gospel on the corner of Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street, Minneapolis, Minnesota. These are the names of the men that were there: Robert Thompson, Jack Thompson, Joe Thompson, Tony Webb, Lance Dehn, Brian Barnier, and myself (Henry Thompson).
A few people preached and there was a great crowd. It was a perfect night to be out, then it was my turn to preach. Not long after I started preaching I noticed a police car pulled up from my left with its lights on. I didn’t think much of it because we’ve dealt with the Minneapolis police while preaching before. A few of them were actually in favor of us preaching there. The police car stopped just to my right and two female officers got out. You could see by the expressions on their faces that they hated the preaching of the gospel. You could also see that they loved the power of their uniform. And instead of following the law, they used that power to execute their own law. I was preaching to a group of 20 or so people who were across the intersection. The two officers stepped right in front of me and commanded me to stop. However, the word of God says:
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
II Timothy 4:2
But Peter and John answered and said unto them, “Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.”
When I did not obey their command their anger rose and took control of their actions. Their anger toward the preaching of the Word of God overpowered their common sense, the constitutional amendments, and their duty to uphold the law. The officers began to scream at me and when I continued to preach they put me in the police car. They did not read me any rights, or handcuff me, or even say that I was under arrest, they just put me in the squad car. Immediately after I was put in the car Brother Tony began preaching. One of the officers opened the door of the car and told me to slide over. Soon Brother Tony joined me. I want you all to know the Word of God is 100% true when it says:
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Both Tony and I were enjoying the whole thing, laughing and smiling, and when the officers got in the car that shook them up even more. They yelled at us for smiling! We told them that we smile all the time because we are on our way to Heaven! One of the officers said that they would let us go if we stopped preaching. I asked: “Do we have the freedom to exercise our First Amendment rights?”
She said: “NO!”
We confirmed to them very clearly that “if we get out of this car we are going to get out preaching.”
One said: “Well, O.K. Oh, and you are under arrest, by the way”.
They did not tell us what we were arrested for. But praise the LORD we were arrested!
When we arrived at the Hennepin county jail they told us to get out of the car, they handcuffed us, and then brought us in. After they searched us we went to sit in a room with about four other inmates. It was a wonderful time as we shared the gospel with them. They were all wondering why we were so happy. We told them, “it is because there is nowhere else we would rather be then in here telling you about Jesus Christ!” One man had attempted suicide that night and the police had used a dog to hold him down. He was having a bad day, but we had him smiling in minutes. Praise the Lord! He told us that we were needed more by the people in jail than the free. We agreed, for God had put us there.
We were arrested Friday, 09-29-2006, about 11:00pm and released around 5:30am the following morning.