REPORT: Students Push Back After Christian College Guest Pastor Compared Capitol Riot To ‘Hate-Heightened Racial Attacks’

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Conservative students at a Christian college in Tennessee were unnerved by a recent church service during which the guest pastor referenced Jan. 6, a student who attended the service told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Pastor Preston Williams II preached during a reportedly mandatory service at Lee University on Jan. 17 and used the Jan. 6 Capitol riots as an example of historical events motivated by hate, according to video of the sermon. The Lee University College Republican chapter issued a statement on Jan. 19 condemning the inclusion of the Jan. 6 alongside civil rights disparities and called Williams’ statement an attempt to push “identity-politics and ensur[e] certain groups are categorized.” (RELATED: Rep. Massie Confirms Seat On ‘Church Committee,’ Vows To Reveal Any ‘Illegal Or Unconstitutional’ Gov’t Acts)

“In speaking of these political events primarily associated with the Republican Party, we believe Dr. Williams implied a common enemy to these so-called racial divides that he condemned throughout the lecture,” the chapter wrote in a statement obtained by the DCNF. The group alleged that Williams’ message “suggest[ed] those who stormed the United States Capitol did so with racial intent.”

During a guest appearance, Williams addressed the student chapel with a lecture focused on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, which was federally recognized the day before. Williams is the pastor at Gateway Church in Florida.

According to a video, Williams said, “Suppose we were to judge ourselves by recent events across the nation that involves a list of African Americans who have lost their lives to hate-heightened racial attacks, Jewish synagogues that’s been desecrated, and senseless attacks on Asians, just to name a few. And don’t forget what happened in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021. In that case, we may see America blindly repeating the past mistakes as we continue to splinter over political affiliations that are deeply rooted in persistent racial and philosophical divides.”

“It has been eye-opening to see the events that the Capitol riots played out and, equally so, see the mixed response to what has happened. If there is any message to be taken from where we stand today, we must all be willing to take responsibility for being a part of a change for the better inside of this nation,” he continued.

Lee University holds two chapel services per week and the university requires students to attend 70 percent of them. The vice president of Lee University College Republicans attended the sermon and was caught off-guard by the pastor’s message which associated Republicans with “racism in the country.”

“It definitely felt like he was trying to allude to racism within political parties. There was no reason to bring up January 6 when speaking about how all men are created in the Image of God. As the VP of College Republicans here at Lee, it felt like an attack on the Republican Party. I do not condone the acts of January 6. It certainly should not be used as a way to express racial roots in political divide,” one student said.

Following the lecture, the student-led chapter urged the university to “better analyze the guests they choose to speak to our campus.”

The group wrote, “Those who step up to the Conn Center podium should be individuals who have been called to preach a Biblically evident message.”

According to the student, Lee University has a history of opposing progressive politics. A policy in the Lee University Student Handbook for the 2022-2023 academic year states that every member should live consistently with their biological sex. The policy prohibits identifying or presenting as the opposite gender.

The handbook further prohibits requesting that government or university official documents be updated to reflect a change to the opposite sex, undergoing medical surgery to appear as the opposite sex, and requesting others to use a name or pronoun not associated with one’s biological sex.

“They have done a really good job sticking to truth and not letting political pressures hinder the safety of the students. So that’s why I was shocked when I started hearing about ‘equity’ in this past chapel service,” the student added.

After the lecture, Lee University released the following statement on Instagram:

On Tuesday January 17th, 2023, Dr. Preston Williams II spoke at Lee University’s chapel, which is required for undergraduate students. This is a time for the entire campus to come together to worship. Students were under the impression that Dr. Williams would be speaking on Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy and how we as Christians can love others as God has called us to do. However, things changed when Dr. Williams instead invoked division by including political messaging. Dr. Williams left students fecling that their political affiliations may be “deeply rooted in persistent racial and philosophical divides.” It was clear he was pushing identity-politics and ensuring certain groups are categorized. He mentioned the attacks on January 6th, 2021, in which, by mentioning in a list of other events such as African American lives lost to “heightened racial attacks”, suggests those who stormed the United States Capitol did so with racial intent. Dr. Williams went so far as stating the events of January 6 were indicators that America is “blindly repeating past mistakes”. Now let us be very clear, The Lee University College Republicans condemn the Capitol attacks to the highest degree, but we recognize the motives behind the aggression were not a political scheme to convey racial superiority. The Republican Party believes all people are created equal. Therefore, we emphasize that with the College Republicans, and further, that we are all made in the Image of God.In speaking of these political events primarily associated with the Republican Party, we believe Dr. Williams implied a common enemy to these so-called racial divides that he condemned throughout the lecture. Lee University, Republicans are not the party of racism. We stand with great pride as the party that fought endlessly for the abolition of slavery, led the war to stop it, and voted for the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 despite widespread Democrat opposition. We recognize that Jesus Christ died for all our sins and his blood alone can wash those away. It is foolish and dangerous to suggest that someone’s political ideology, manifest in party affiliation, may be indicators of racist roots. If we truly want to continue Dr. King’s Legacy of ensuring equality for all, we must set aside political divides and recognize the inherent worth of each individual regardless of race, sex, or political affiliation. His dream was not to have his skin color emphasized, or to be categorized. Today’s constant drum of racially inflammatory protests and speeches, including that of our recent chapel speaker, stokes the embers of racial disharmony and works directly against Dr. King’s dream. These types of speeches will not create an environment for future generations to be seen “not for the color of their skin, but for the content of their character.’ On behalf of the Lee University College Republicans, we urge Lee University to better analyze the guests they choose to speak to our campus. Those who step up to the Conn Center podium should be individuals who have been called to preach a Biblically evident message.
Brandon Newell
President of the Lee University College Republicans


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  1. I too condemn the tactics of some participants in the Jan.6 event, and I disagree that the Jan.6 event was rooted in “racism.”

    In my opinion, Many, many black people have an overarching tendency to see everything they disagree with as “racism,” even when it’s not so. I see it every day in the news and in my practice.

    Williams is either one of those blacks, or he is simply using Jan.6 to push the corrupt democrat party narrative. Or both.

    • I condemn Nancy Pelosi who should have secured the capital on Jan 6 and had the front of the capital completely blocked off that no one could get anywhere near the steps of the capital but Pelosi played politics and ignored request for the national guard and more local police because Pelosi wanted what happened to happen so she could blame trump and trump supporters and to try stop trump from running for president again

  2. Before I read the first word I knew the culture that was talking, evidently Jan 6 is added to their deck of race cards because it’s now played a lot. Look clown unlike your culture of destruction nothing was destroyed except a life of a white person by one of yours. So back off of the never ending commercial you clowns have made profitable. Pretty pathetic to say the least

  3. The gospel is about loving the Lord with all your heart and mind and soul, that is the greatest commandment given the Christian of any denomination. A second great commandment Jesus spoke of was for us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, (how do we love ourselves).
    This so called preacher was preaching hate, fomenting anger where he found opportunity to do so. Think of how Jesus would have spoken from the pulpit had he given the sermon. It would have sounded more like Matthew 5:2-9, this is when Jesus’ ministry became public, His time had come.

  4. The Sad thing is since the Biden Administration inauguration and Jan 6th, America has went down hill. Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Drugs, Drug Deaths, Crime running Rampant, more Shootings than ever, Open Borders, 2 million Illegals entering America! This is a Admin of Crime!

  5. Excellent article enjoyed reading every word of it. At least these people recognize its the devil trying to creep into their hearts.

  6. Dr. King was a closet Republican, just like his father and grandfather. He intended to come out in support of Bobby Kennedy for the Democratic nomination in 1968.

    I was in front of the Capitol on Jan. 6. We were not racist. I don’t even remember seeing any Stars and Bars being flown among the thousands of signs and standards that day, though the media reports prominently featured one inside the Capitol. By contrast, I saw at least a dozen Republic of Vietnam flags prominently displayed and several Israeli flags. We didn’t try to overthrow the government. We were trying to encourage lawmakers, and especially Mike Pence, to stand up for the Constitution, in order to prevent the Democrats’ overthrow of the government through their massive election fraud, judicial intimidation, and media gaslighting. We had every right to protest in the capital to peacefully petition the government to redress injustices.
    It was a massive, peaceful, legitimate, completely merited protest hijacked at the Capitol by scores of yet-unidentified suspicious actors—among them Ray Epps—who appeared to mediate between the crowd and Capitol Police woefully unprepared to deal with the situation, having been denied by Speaker Pelosi the support of 10,000 National Guard troops offered by Pres. Trump, and who, in some cases, were actually recorded facilitating the crowd’s access to the Capitol. The FBI will not explain its role in the event. The most logical inference to be drawn here is that the FBI seeded agitprop provocateurs in the crowd for the purpose of staging a false flag operation designed to discredit the MAGA movement, presumably for the purpose of advancing the political interests of the Democratic Party.

    Let’s get to the bottom of J6. The Democrats have had their own sham “bipartisan” House committee. The incoming GOP Congress should put together its own investigative committee. And, unlike the disgracefully unfair Democrats, the GOP should let the Dems pick their own committee members. Air all of the video. Call Ray Epps to testify. Subpoena Pelosi to explain, inter alia, why Trump’s offer of 10,000 National Guard was refused. Identify all of the suspicious actors. Call forward Michael Byrd to justify his killing of Ashli Babbitt. Subpoena the FBI to explain its involvement. Then let the chips fall where they may.

    • I was up front near the Inauguration scaffolding as well. You describe the situation well. It was fun, patriotic and uplifting…..until the tear gas was thrown into the crowd. I saw groups of guys all dressed in black, arms on shoulders of the guy in front, marching forward. There was a guy behind us working his way through the crowd spouting “c’mon you pussies, what are you doing out here? Take over the Capitol. Why are we so weak? Rush forward everyone!” That kind of stuff. He’d get shouted down and move over and repeat.

      Yep, this was agitprop

  7. January 6th was a protest against the fixed and rigged and stoled an election.
    The Deep State used it as an opportunity to instigate a minor riot(agent provocators) to smear and slander Patriots.
    We have nothing to be ashamed about from January 6th 100% of the blame lies with the Democrats and their deep State minions like the FBI and the capital police

  8. All in alignment with Saul Alinsky. Educate yourselves on this pos. I feel the same about Saul Alinsky as “Kohn” feels about Trump.

  9. I am saddened that someone such as Dr. Preston Williams II could be esteemed enough to address a college student body, then use that honor to speak about an event which he obviously knows nothing about. The “Dr.” in front of his name means that at least at some time in the past he knew how to research a topic to arrive at conclusions supported by evidence. The danger of having “Dr.” in front of your name is that for some, it means never having to study again. The reality is that we all need to keep learning our entire lives or we inevitably fall behind as new events unfold.


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