An associate pastor at the First Baptist Church of Palo Alto has resigned after tweeting a series of statements berating the progressive city over its lack of action to address severe wealth inequalities there.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Rev. Gregory Stevens called the city “an elitist shit den of hate” and “disgusting” on his public Twitter account, which has since been removed. He reportedly also criticized the city’s “social justice” on Earth Day, calling it a “fucking joke” among other things. He also complained about how “old people always fall asleep” during meetings and his expressed his disdain for Beyoncé.
Stevens’ tweets were published to a public document addressing the city’s latest council hearing in the form of a letter from one of the city’s residents who wrote:
Dear Palo Alto City Council, City Staff and Residents, Gregory Stevens is the Assistant Minister at the First Baptist Church, located at 305 N California Ave, Palo Alto. Gregory Stevens has a public Twitter account. I thought some of his troubling recent tweets should come to the attention of Palo Alto city leaders and the residents of Palo Alto. Gregory Stevens comments should concern our community. Should this type of person and the organization he represents oversee a Palo Alto Community Center? Should a person that hates the City of Palo Alto, hates the Palo Alto Police Dept, hates Palo Alto residents, makes fun of our older citizens and ridicules another faith, be running a Palo Alto Community Center? A facility that would cater to the elderly, children and residents of our town? You can read Gregory Stevens Twitter account for yourself. It is public. Open the Twitter website. Search for Gregory Stevens. Then scroll down to GregoryStevens@HelloGregory. You can ready his troubling tweets for yourself. I urge the city council to enforce existing Rl zoning laws and severely restrict the non church related rental activities being conducted at the church. Thank you.
In a statement, Stevens reportedly said he resigned from the congregation to “help minimize the negativity focused on the good community work being done at the First Baptist Church of Palo Alto.” He reportedly added, “I tweeted to vent my frustration, and I acknowledge that I did so in an unprofessional and often hurtful way. My Twitter community has always been a small group of progressive ministers and Leftist political activists to whom my rants were geared.”
In his letter, he stated that over the course of three years of attempting to work with the community has shown him that “Palo Alto is a ghetto of wealth, power, and elitist liberalism by proxy, meaning that many community members claim to want to fight for social justice issues, but that desire doesn’t translate into action.”
In a tweet dated March 15 of this year, Stevens wrote, “balls on balls on balls.” Five days later he tweeted, “I love this job,” and signed it as “Nobody” regarding a musician canceling 30-minutes prior to an event he put together and, “I can’t figure out how to grow a church. I can’t even get 3 people around a table of free food to talk about compost as a metaphor for social/personal change.#bye.”