Line of counterprotestors holding signs one saying God Don't Hate

When Westboro Baptist protestors descended on St. John's United Church of Christ on Columbus' near east side to demonstrate again the "Jezebel Preacher," over 130 counterprotestors showed up to peacefully defend their female pastor. The Rev. Virginia Lohman Bauman, targeted for being a female preacher who opens up the church to a congregation that includes LGBTQ people, called it "an amazing spiritual experience" as she was joined by so many supporters on very short notice, according to the United Church of Christ website. According to the website, Columbus Police tipped off the church that the notorious anti-gay Westboro Baptist protestors were coming their way on Friday, August 30. The demonstration happened Sunday, September 1. Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church was the second target of the Westboro group and counterprotestors kept up their viglance against the haters there. Rev.  Gary Witte and his wife Winifred Wirth joined in the counterprotest and supplied the photos displayed here for the Free Press. Witte reported that the huge outpouring of support by the community for the churches far outnumbered the members of the Westboro Church protest.