Just months after denying they were in an intimate relationship before his recent divorce, Greg Locke, the outspoken internet preacher and lead pastor of Global Vision Bible Church in Tennessee, gets married to his administrative assistant and ex-wife's best friend, Tai Cowan McGee.
According to TheChristianPost, Pulpit and Pen first cited a copy of the newlywed's marriage certificate filed in Wilson County, showing that Locke, 42, and McGee who also recently went through a divorce, were married on Tuesday by Global Vision Bible Church's Executive Pastor Jarrod Almond. The marriage came after Locke legally divorced his ex-wife Melissa, whom he said he "loved for 21 years."
In an interview with The Christian Post Thursday morning, Locke affirmed that his divorce from Melissa was official in May, not six weeks ago as Pulpit and Pen has claimed.
"The divorce and remarriage is a fact. Everybody knows that," Locke said when asked about the Pulpit and Pen post which he said contains libelous information.
Locke, who has four children with Melissa, including two who were adopted, shot to internet fame after he posted a video on Facebook on April 22, 2016, criticizing Target for its new policies on gender-neutral bathrooms. He has since become well-known for his support of hardline conservative values, including his opposition to divorce.
Locke emphasized Thursday he will continue preaching against divorce despite his failed marriage.
"I still preach against divorce. I'm in a series right now in Ephesians, I'm encroaching on Chapter 5. You know, I'm gonna have to preach about marriage. Husband's love your wives as Christ loves the Church, that's a difficult balance right now but I'm gonna have to learn to be a way better husband than I was the first go round," he said of his new marriage.
"There's no doubt. We (Locke and his ex-wife) both contributed to the failure of our marriage ... and so I'm gonna have to learn to be a biblical husband in the strictest sense of the word. I'm not gonna change the fact that I'm still very conservative, my values and morals. Is divorce wrong? Yeah. Does God offer forgiveness? There is only one unforgivable sin in the Bible and it's not divorce. It's the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit," he said.
"It's certainly not a situation I thought I would ever find myself in but I'm here and what I'm finding now is that our phone is ringing off the hook with pastors that have gone through or are going through the very same thing. Guys that I never would have imagined that are divorced and remarried or are in the process," he added.
He said there are details in his sealed divorce files that would totally "exonerate" him.
"Nobody wants to hear that side of the story and Pulpit and Pen just wants to spin nonsense and burn my life to the ground. And the facts are the facts. I retain the kids. We finally got amicable. She's got two, I've got two. I'm remarried. She's moving on with her life. We're trying to be as friendly as we can," he said.
As recently as January, his new wife was listed on Global Vision's website as an administrative assistant at the church. It was around the same time that it was reported that Locke had separated from Melissa and had been courting McGee.
When asked if he was aware of the optics of his new marriage in light of previous reports about their relationship, he replied: "I'm legally remarried and I'm legally divorced. What it looks like? ... I'm not gonna live crazy and single for the rest of my life and just live in misery because my ex-wife decided to burn my life to the ground publicly with a bunch a lies about abuse and stuff which my kids were mortified by," he said.
In an interview with ChristianPost January, Locke said his relationship with McGee then was platonic. He explained that she was his ex-wife's best friend and their families were close because of that.
"The 'lady' in question (McGee) has worked for our church for a long time and been my wife's best friend for a very long time, and both of our families have been the closest of friends. We have done things together for years and that has never come into question and been a problem until all of a sudden this happened and I became single," Locke told CP in January.
"We were a week from the finalization of the divorce. Had we talked about 'hey, let's go out on a date when all of this is done? Yeah.' ... Of course there were feelings. We just didn't know what to do with them until things were legal," Locke explained.
He said in July they both went to the elders of their church to discuss their relationship and "we went for it in August just like the paperwork says."
Lock said even though McGee still works at the church, as the director of his Facebook ministry where he has some 1.5 million followers, the church had to remove her profile due to safety reasons.
"She still works at the church. We had to take her off because of this bunch of nonsense. Getting death threats and letters in the mail ... cameras in her face everywhere she goes," he added.