Update on the September 19, 1993 Riot at Hamilton Square
Baptist Church, 1212 Geary Street, San Francisco, California
19, 1993 at the six o'clock evening service the Hamilton
Square Baptist Church of San Francisco was stormed by a
rioting mob of homosexuals and lesbians. They seized control
of Church property, blocked the entrances of the church,
desecrated the Christian flag, assaulted men, women, children
and the handicapped, destroyed property, sought to forcibly
enter the church auditorium by tearing down the doors, disrupted
the church worship service and assaulted the guest speaker.
News of the attack against the Church quickly spread across
the nation on Christian Radio Networks and on other Christian
Radio and Television Stations. The audio tape of the rioters
seeking to break down the doors of the Church Auditorium
was played in thousands of churches.
were stirred to action by what they had read and by what
they had heard. Thousands of telephone calls came into the
offices of San Francisco's Board of Supervisors. A local
paper reported that at the peak of the phone calls, up to
100 calls were being received daily in each of the supervisors'
offices. Thousands of letters were also sent. It was these
telephone calls and letters that brought the first break
in the news blackout that prevailed in our area. Coverage
by news reporter Richard Hunt and his associates on the
Christian Broadcast Network was another major help in breaking
through the news blackout.
from a large multinational corporation called the city's
Convention and Visitors Bureau and informed them that the
corporation he represented had decided not to bring conventions
utilizing 30,000 hotel rooms to the city because of the
city's failure to protect our church. Foreign embassies
were notified of the incident. What began as an attack upon
a church under cover of a news blackout became a "shot
heard around the world".
three days after the incident on September 23 with Dr. Innes,
Mayor Frank Jordan, the Chief of Police, and a representative
from the District Attorney's office brought assurance that
another event of this kind would not be permitted. Mayor
Jordan wholeheartedly affirmed his commitment to the protection
of the Constitutional rights of all of the citizens of San
Francisco. Meanwhile, the Board of Supervisors with one
or two exceptions has to this day stonewalled, denying that
anything illegal or inappropriate had ever happened.
the Board of Supervisors denial of any wrongdoing as well
as their approval and blessing upon those who rioted against
the Church, a Freedom Rally was held on Monday, November
8. Over 400 pastors and laymen came from all across the
USA representing over sixty thousand churches with a constituency
of over three million. At least eighteen states were represented.
Word was received that the homosexual activists would seek
to fill the chambers of the Board of Supervisors so that
the pastors and laymen could not get in. In response, the
men who came early were sent immediately to the Board room
where our men occupied well over two-thirds of the seats.
The rest of the men were sent along as soon as they arrived.
For the first time since the beginning of the homosexual
activist movement in San Francisco some twenty years ago,
the Christians outnumbered the homosexual and lesbian activists
after three o'clock in the afternoon, time was given to
speak to the issue of the riot at the church. Speakers alternated,
pro and con. When Dr. Lou Sheldon stood at the podium to
speak, a major confrontation broke out. The homosexuals
and lesbians attempted to deny Dr. Sheldon his right to
speak. It was only after several minutes and a threat to
clear the chambers that he was able to address the Supervisors.
After he spoke, he was assaulted by a man in the front row
who spat on him. Eight or ten police officers swiftly entered
the chambers, dragged the man out of the room and arrested
thereafter, the pastor of the Hamilton Square Baptist Church,
Dr. David C. Innes was intentionally denied his turn to
present his complaint to the Supervisors. Supervisor Terrance
Hallinan, the one who has described the churches' moral
teachings as "an abomination", made a parliamentary
move on behalf of Supervisor Migden that cut off discussion
of the matter. (Dr. Innes was going to give the homosexual
flag back to Supervisor Migden, a gesture that would have
been extremely embarrassing to her).
protection that day was commendable! Crowd control barricades
were in place. Motorcycle police escorted the men on their
walk to City Hall. Police were present in numbers at City
Hall and did a superb job in crowd control.
the news blackout was broken. All of the major newspapers
and news networks covered the event, most of them quite
favorably. CNN carried the story of the Freedom Rally five
times the following day. The San Francisco Chronicle (the
paper that initially refused to carry the story) carried
a major editorial article on November 11 condemning the
violence against the church, recognizing that the constitutional
rights of the church were violated and calling for the prosecution
of those who broke the law. The editorial concluded: "The
demonstrators at Hamilton Square Baptist Church endangered
not only their own cause but the cause of freedom itself."
men who attended the Freedom Rally were shocked and moved
by that which they witnessed that day. For the first time
many of them witnessed first hand what the real homosexual
agenda is all about. Most of them left with a new determination
to take a stand in their ministry against this very real
threat to our religious liberties.
night, November 21, Dr. Lou Sheldon was invited back to
speak along with Mr. John Paulk, a homosexual who has been
gloriously saved by the grace and power of God. The church
and its pastor Dr. Innes felt that it was incumbent on them
to establish their right to invite the speaker of their
choice and to peaceably assemble. Again, word spread through
the homosexual community of his coming, though the church
did not give any public notice outside of its own church
bulletin and pulpit announcements.
this time the outcome was different. The San Francisco Police
were out in force. Iron barricades were placed around the
church perimeter. A mobile riot control vehicle was parked
across the street. Police cars and paddy wagons were all
around the block. Over 50 policemen were on duty. Six police
officers surrounded the back of the church platform from
which Dr. Sheldon and John Paulk spoke. And not a single
demonstrator showed up! Word had gone through the homosexual
community of the damage that the demonstrators had done
to their own cause because of the riot and because of their
obnoxious behavior at city hall during the Freedom Rally.
victory was sweet. The police had sent the homosexual-lesbian
activists the message that they would not tolerate further
violence against the churches of the city, and the leaders
of the homosexual community put the protestors on notice
that they were not to further the public relations disaster
that began with the riot. Furthermore, because of the thousands
of phone calls and letters to the Board of Supervisors and
because of the impact of the Freedom Rally, the supervisors
were not able to come to the rescue of the radicals as they
normally would have.
impact of the riot here is already having national implications.
The Clinic Access Bill sponsored by Senator Edward Kennedy
recently passed the House and Senate of the U.S. Congress.
This bill attaches penalties of up to one year in prison
and fines of up to $100,000.00 for blocking the entrance
to an abortion clinic and enables the State and National
Attorney Generals to intervene where local officials do
not do so. Specifically because of the riot against our
church, this bill was amended to include equal protection
for churches. If passed into law, this will dramatically
effect situations such as that which we faced on Sunday
night, September 19.