Man Lights a Fire Outside of Sunshine Cathedral

A person threw eggs at the building. Photo courtesy of Sunshine Cathedral.

The 9 a.m. Sunday service at Sunshine Cathedral was interrupted when someone lit a fire outside the church. Witnesses say the man was burning something in what appeared to be some kind of ritual, likely in opposition to the LGBTQ-affirming church.

Police and firefighters arrived, no one was hurt and no lasting physical damage was done.

Later, the person returned and threw eggs at the church. While the criminal got away, his actions were captured by security cameras. Police are investigating, and say they have identified the person.

This isn’t the first attack on the world’s most queer church. In July 2022, vicious, incoherent but clearly anti-LGBTQ signs were left at the church. A source close to the investigation tells OutSFL that they believe it’s the same person.

Beyond these crimes, the church says there has been a spike in hate mail over the past few months.

Respond With Love

Despite the blatant attack on the church and the LGBTQ community, ministers at Sunshine Cathedral believe there is only one way to respond, and that’s with love and understanding.

Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins, Senior Minister of Sunshine Cathedral, said, “We have no idea what sort of pain [the vandal] is in or what has motivated him to act in such unpleasant ways. We can only assume he is experiencing some sort of mental dysfunction, and we hope he gets the care he needs.”

However, turning the other cheek does not mean allowing him to threaten the Sunshine community. Dr. Watkins said if the person returns, they will consider him a trespasser and let law enforcement take over.

Despite the ever-present threat of violence, Dr. Watkins says the church’s mission will continue. 

“With so much hatred in the world, our message of love is needed as much as ever, and we have every intention of sharing that message with as many people as possible.”


Photo courtesy of Sunshine Cathedral.

Full Disclosure: John Hayden works with Happening Out TV, which has its studios on the Sunshine Cathedral campus


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Wilton Manors, FL 33305



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