Controversial New York church giving away AR-15 and flamethrower over July 4th weekend

A church in New York is once again making headlines for a controversial giveaway during the July 4 weekend.

Grace Baptist Church has begun advertising their annual revival meeting along with the promise of a chance of winning an AR-15 or a flamethrower.

“The winner, the very fortunate attendee, will either choose to get an AR-15, a New York modified AR-15, or a flamethrower,” Pastor John Koletas said in a video posted to the church’s Twitter account.

The winner will have to pass a background check.

The church, which is located in Troy less than three hours from New York City and describes themselves as “an ole fashion church, preachin’ the ole time religion!”, is no stranger to controversy.

In addition to giving away an AR-15 in 2014, 2017, and 2020, Koletas is known for his bigoted views.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

While residents have expressed their concerns about the giveaway, given the recent mass shootings in the United States, Koletas said he just wants to “reach out to the community.”

“We’re not trying to start a fire,” he said. “We’re just trying to have some fun.”


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