Chattanooga pastor recounts experience in Charlottesville - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Chattanooga pastor recounts experience in Charlottesville

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

A Chattanooga pastor remembered a very clear message from her church "#TiredofHate," as she attended the protests in Charlottesville Saturday.

"I'm glad to be back," said Anna Golladay, a pastor at St. Elmo United Methodist Church.

READ MORE | Man accused of ramming protesters pictured with racist group

She's back in a peaceful place, one where she leads a congregation in worship, but she's back with a heavy heart.

"I'm still decompressing," Golladay said as she prepared for church, "I have been running a gambit of emotions."

A mixture of emotions she was eager to share with her church.

"I will stand against evil, and injustice, and oppression, in whatever forms they present themselves," Golladay urged.

Evil she said she saw clearly Saturday in Virginia.

"It got really scary in there they yelled at us to go," Golladay said in a Facebook live video she posted Saturday.

She was with 40 other clergy members in Charlottesville, where people gathered to protest the removal of a confederate statue.

However, Golladay said she was there for a different reason.

"To visibly and prayerfully combat the evil that was there," she explained.
         
Golladay documented her experience through a series of Facebook Live videos-- taken as the group linked arms and walked through the protestors.    

"To say that we're not scared is not true," Golladay said in a video of the clergy members walking.

Golladay said she felt led to go because her church promotes a message denouncing hate.

"And evil was present in Charlottesville," she urged.

Evil she wants to fight with love.

"(Clergy members) sang, and prayed, and looked one another in the eye," Golladay recalled.

Troy Dunagin is also from Chattanooga.

READ MORE | UPDATE: Friend of Chattanooga man arrested at Charlottesville rally says he was a counter protester

Virginia State Police said he was arrested during the protests for disorderly conduct.

"We drove the 8 hours for one reason and he drove the 8 hours for another reason," Golladay said, "Neither one of those reasons is any less valid to the emotions that we carry."

Golladay said experiencing the protests has made one thing very clear to her, "we are in no way free and clear from the work that has to be done to fight the violence that is coming to and has been a part of this country."

She said she rewrote her sermon after the protest so she could talk to her congregation about the events and her experience Sunday morning in church.

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