Dr. Owen Strachan read from two faith-based children’s books at the “Pastor Story Hour” Jan. 14 at Conway Public Library after announcing the plan in a Facebook post. That post openly stated he was reading about “God’s design of the sexes” in light of the “drag queen” story hours that have been welcomed at numerous public libraries.
“This is a rich opportunity,” Strachan wrote, “to speak truth in love.”
“The room was packed out. Standing room only. And the room was very hot,” Strachan tells AFN. “And the kids listened closely to the two books I read.”
Strachan, who pastors Grace Bible Church, is also a provost and professor at Grace Bible Theological Seminary, which is located in Conway.
After his social media announcement, a group called the Coalition for Social Justice announced it was holding an “Inclusive Story Hour” on the same day to “drown out the hate” from Strachan’s book reading. In a statement, a Coalition member said the group would read books featuring "Black, Brown, Queer, Trans, GNC, and Disabled People."
But it's unlikely the group’s “inclusive” library reading would have permitted a participant, such a a black, disabled church pastor, whose views clashed with its own worldview about good and evil.
Strachan, however, tells AFN he meant what he said about showing love. So he and others attempted to talk to the opposition at the library.
“And show kindness to them. Witness to them for Christ,” he says, “and generally just talk to them.”
As far as the children who attended the “Pastor Story Hour,” Strachan says they asked “good questions” after his reading. Several volunteered to pray to conclude the event.