North Carolina: Crosses removed as Smithfield church becomes a mosque

Source: Mosque moves into former Pentecostal church in Smithfield, NC | News & Observer  h/t TROP

It won’t be the first mosque in Johnston County, but for now it’s the only one.

On Saturday morning, the Islamic Center of Smithfield will open up in a vacant Pentecostal church, taking over the four-acre property and parsonage on Brightleaf Boulevard with future plans for a worship and community center and school. Helping to open the mosque will be local Christian clergy, hoping to strike a welcoming and respectful tone for two faiths of similar origins in a shared community.

Crosses have been removed from the former church’s facade and steeple, and Ali Mohammad, an organizer of the mosque and a Smithfield business owner, said they’ll be handed over to the group of pastors as a show of good faith.

“We want to be friendly with all our neighbors and let them know we’re there,” Mohammad said. “It’s open faith; we’re brothers.”

The last Johnston County mosque was in Selma, but it folded a few years ago after a series of break-ins and the imam left for Goldsboro to help open an Islamic center there. Mohammad, who owns several local strip malls and businesses that sell speakers and security systems, said he let the county’s Muslim community meet in one of his vacant store fronts, but that it was always considered temporary.

[Is that legal? Do zoning laws allow for storefronts to be used as mosques?]

 “One of our dreams was we could start a bigger Islamic center so our kids can play, we can create a small school, we can create a place for all these families to get together and hang out,” Mohammad said.

He said the group started looking for properties last year and came across the empty Pentecostals of Smithfield property, which includes a church building and a home. They bought the four-acre property last month for $230,000.

Pastor Jim Melnyk, who leads St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Smithfield, will be one of the Christian church leaders taking part in Saturday’s ceremony. He said Christianity and Islam share common origins and scriptures and that he felt it was important to participate in the mosque opening as a sign of mutual respect.

“I see it as an important statement of community, that we take each other’s faiths seriously,” Melnyk said. “I want to acknowledge how important it is to build bridges in the community when we’re living in a time that is so anxiety ridden and there’s so much mistrust going on in the world around us. It’s important when we can find common ground and share our community.”

Mohammed, who was born in Venezuela to Jerusalem-born parents, said he made his way to Smithfield by way of Florida 20 years ago and that the Muslim community at that time was about three or four families. He said it has grown steadily over the past two decades and that he expects the mosque membership to be around 60, characterizing the families as business owners, doctors and engineers, several moved to Johnston County from out of state by their companies.

“Part of it is destiny; it’s the will of God that we’re here and we’ve done well,” Mohammad said.

Opening the only mosque in a predominantly rural Christian county while headlines of Muslim travel bans remain in the news may sound like a challenge, but Mohammad said he isn’t worried about a backlash. He said any friction in the community can be solved by getting to know one another better.

“We’re Americans,” Mohammad said. “This is my land, this is my right as an American. If a Christian or a Jew or any other culture has the right to have some kind of community center, why not us? … My faith is peaceful. It teaches us to love our neighbor and be friendly with everyone. That’s what religion teaches us.”

[Really? Where in the Koran does it teach Muslims to love their neighbors – particularly the Christians and Jews? Where does it teach Muslims to be friendly with everyone? Can Mohammad provide specific verses? Did the “reporter” bother to ask?]

Melnyk, the Episcopal pastor, said there isn’t any formal plan of what to do with the crosses once they’re handed over, that maybe a church will demonstrate a need or there may be some mission that can use them. He said that the ceremony of the transfer of the church to the mosque was what he wants the public to recognize.

“They’re reaching out to be neighborly, saying we know this symbol is important to you and we want to honor it,” Melnyk said. “And it behooves us as Christians and followers of Jesus to be neighborly in response.”


Is their really a concern that Christians won’t be neighborly when history – both past and recent – has proven Muslim invaders are anything but neighborly? Mohammad , like his namesake, blatantly lied – not a good neighborly start.

16 thoughts on “North Carolina: Crosses removed as Smithfield church becomes a mosque

  1. These Christian people in NC obviously have chosen to ignore the history of Islam since the 7th Century and will be leading to their own demise in the future. It will be too late by the time they realize their grave mistake. The Snake is now in their town.

  2. I don’t know how to even explain how sick and mad I am about this!

    A name like “Ali Mohammad” should tell this pastor what religion this “man” is into! Apparently this pastor has NEVER even LOOKED at a koran, never mind READING IT!!

    “they’ll be handed over to the group of pastors as a show of good faith.” YEAH?? Who’s “good faith”?

    Handing over the crosses should of been this pastor’s FIRST clue!! These animals want NOTHING to do with Jesus dying on the cross, and HIM taking ours sins away!! mr. mohummed should have told this pastor to throw his religion away, while he throws the crosses away!!

    And then they have the nerve to say: “hoping to strike a welcoming and respectful tone for two faiths of similar origins in a shared community.” These are not “two faiths of similar origins”!! One of two, or both, have NO IDEA what the other one’s “book” SAYS!! Idiots!!

    “It’s open faith; we’re brothers.” More like “open season”!!!

    Pastor Jim Melnyk NEEDS TO BE EDUCATED on Islam…LIKE FAST!

    “it’s the will of God that we’re here and we’ve done well,”….of course it is! He’s talking about the “god of this world” Satan! Or in HIS case, Allah! And satan wants muslims to SUCCEED, so he made him rich to buy that “four-acre property for $230,000.”

    “Opening the only mosque in a predominantly rural Christian county”…of course, you wouldn’t want to put a mosque in a predominately MUSLIM neighborhood…their already signed on to satan! Let’s convert the CHRISTIANS!! Especially the stupid ones in the backcountry, who don’t have any or have little education, who don’t know any better, not to CONVERT! Can’t get any more perfect than that!

    “He said any friction in the community can be solved by getting to know one another better.” That’s how the wolf get’s the sheep, by DECEPTION of kindness!!

    My faith is peaceful. It teaches us to love our neighbor and be friendly with everyone. That’s what religion teaches us.”

    ALREADY ANSWERED PERFECTLY!
    [Really? Where in the Koran does it teach Muslims to love their neighbors – particularly the Christians and Jews? Where does it teach Muslims to be friendly with everyone? Can Mohammad provide specific verses? Did the “reporter” bother to ask?]

    “Melnyk, the Episcopal pastor, said there isn’t any formal plan of what to do with the crosses once they’re handed over,”
    You know, it’s too bad, my religion won’t allow me to say what you can do with THEM!!! I’ll try not to think evil thoughts, as this article has me fuming of this pastors IGNORANCE, and if I wasn’t so mad, I’d think of a few more choice words!!!

    “He said that the ceremony of the transfer of the church to the mosque was what he wants the public to recognize.”
    I’ll laugh my A** off, when NOBODY COMES!!

    “And it behooves us as Christians and followers of Jesus to be neighborly in response.”
    Sorry, mr. idiot pastor, but we don’t be neighborly to satan and his followers!! Anyone else, yes! And I mean, ANYONE ELSE!!

    I’m done ranting, but I’m gonna be sick with madness over this, ALL DAY!! Someone give me a ride, to go talk this….pastor!

  3. The number of mosque springing up around the country is dismaying. Far out pacing churches and synagogues.

    In Florida, alone…amazing…especially considering the Moslem population is relatively small. But, it’s not surprising that Muslims want one where they live. So, expect one near you soon.

    What is said in most of the mosques in NOT, YAY!…thank Allah that we now live in a free country and have freedom, yada, yada.

    Nope, quiet the contrary. Nothing patriotic, Nothing pro-America. Nothing about assimilating and living the American dream. Why should they when they plan to have it all their way in the future?

    BTW: Most of these are instigated and supported with some funding from CAIR…meaning the Muslim Brotherhood…meaning Saudi Arabia.

  4. “…a welcoming and respectful tone for two faiths of similar origins…”

    Hmmm… Jesus died for the sins of the world and rose from the dead to defeat death. Mohammad raped a 9-year-old and ordered his followers to conquer through slaughter.

    I guess “similar” doesn’t mean what it used to.

    • @hocuspocus13 The North American Islamic Trust, which holds the deeds to about 80% of The Thousands of Mosques in The United States. They get their money from Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran, Kuwait, Malaysia, Libya, and Saudi Arabia which also sends most of the radical imams to preach Pro Sharia, death to Anti-Islam and Anti-American ideals under R1 Visas. The Muslim Brotherhood, CAIR, MSA, etc are all related and working to Destroy The United States and replace it with an Islamic Caliphate.
      This is why Sharia Law needs to be banned in The United States and any Mosque pushing it be removed. Sharia directly goes against right given to us in our Constitution.

  5. I really want to know what Pentecostal church group is ignorant enough to sell their vacant church bldg to a bunch of MUDSLIMES!!!!! It’s one thing to have a liberal town council who gives in to these snakes in the grass and allows a mosque to be built, but it’s altogether something else when born-again Christians (such as you have here) sell out to the DEVIL!!!!! Come on people, as born-again Christians, surely you know that IZZLAM is demonic–yes, I said DEMONIC!!!!!

  6. The author needs to learn what he writes about–the Episcopal Church–is NOT a Biblically Christian organization–many of their beliefs are decidedly anti-Christ.

  7. Someone in that town needs to learn to speak Arabic it would be better if it was a guy so that he can attend the Mosque because they don’t allow women to attend prayer with males. This would be the best way to really find out just what is being preached in this Mosque since it was found out in another city the Imam was preaching Jihad. Once this town finds out just what these Muslims are really up to they might decide to turn them in the FBI. From what i read last week there are investigations going on in every U.S. state based on terrorism plots so the terrorist are already here.

  8. Are these “Christian” pastors illiterate? Do they NOT know that Islam is based on hate, murder, rape? That one of their CORE beliefs nullifies Christianity? The Koran states Jesus did NOT die on the cross. Which nullifies resurrection. Which nullifies OUR belief that God sent his son to die for our sins, giving us a chance of redemption. They will answer for their blasphemy.

If sharia law continues spreading, you'll have less and less freedom of speech - so speak while you can!

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