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Now I recognize it as the defining moment in my ministry. Almost one thousand people were gathered inside our one-time Masonic Temple for our Wednesday night prayer meeting.

The shouts from protesters outside competed with our prayers. "Racist, sexist, anti-gay, born-again bigots go away!"

The chant was relentless. The longer they yelled, the louder they yelled. The mob was angry and growing more agitated. They spray-painted graffiti on our old building and splashed red paint on the sidewalks. They waved signs bearing deadly threats. I didn't know if the night would end without violence.

Our church, Armitage Baptist in Chicago, had been their target for months. Our presence on sidewalks outside the city's abortion clinics—telling pregnant women about alternatives to abortion and drawing attention to the rights of the unborn—had raised the hackles of an array of radical groups. The militant homosexual machine Act Up had failed in their attempt to take over our Easter ...

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