Pastor Mark Burns’ comments came during an impassioned speech he gave to a congregation at Locke’s church on Sunday, nearly one month after the controversial pastor was permanently banned from Twitter. Locke previously said only “crack-smoking, demon-possessed leftists” believe Biden won the presidential election during a sermon and spread other misinformation on the social media site.
“We gotta recruit Greg Locke to run for federal office, I don’t know, we need him in office,” Burns said on stage. He continued, cupping his hand around his ear, “I can’t hear nobody.”
In a recorded clip, Burns appears to look astonished and begins walking to the other side of the stage while shaking his fists. He smacks the pulpit three times and looks out into the crowd.
“If you really want to see life change, the Gospel of Jesus just can’t stay in the house of God,” Burns said while shaking his head. “We need politicians who would take the glory of God that’s in the temple of God and take it to the halls of Congress.”
Looking to the congregation again, Burns paces across the stage and asks if they would ever support Locke if he ran for office. He smiles while the crowd cheers, and yells, “Somebody say yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah!”
“Because we need, we need demon-killing machines,” Burns said in reference to the Global Vision Bible Church pastor. “I don’t know maybe he’ll run for governor, I don’t know, maybe Tennessee needs a governor.”
Locke previously questioned the legitimacy of the 2020 election and sparked controversy for vowing to remove anyone in his church who wore a face mask due to COVID-19. He also attacked his followers for complaining about political rants during sermons.
The right-wing pastor’s Twitter account was also permanently banned in September for “repeated violations of our COVID-19 misleading information policy,” a Twitter spokesperson told Newsweek.
As a result of the ban, Locke said he entered into a class-action lawsuit against Twitter with other controversial figures like Candace Owens and Trump.
Locke previously served on an advisory committee for Evangelicals for Trump and often attended events in Washington, D.C. He was in the city during the Capitol insurrection but did not go inside and called what took place “horrendous.”
MAGA Pastor Burns also condemned the riots but initially blamed “antifa” for causing it.
Burns ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in South Carolina’s 4th congressional district in 2018 but was not elected. On Facebook, he announced he was running again because it’s “important we all work tirelessly to fix Nov. 3, 2020, we also have to work to get 2022 right to continue President Trump’s America First agenda.
Newsweek reached out to Global Vision Bible Church for comment.