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Christians break out in song after bomb threat forces evacuation of G3 Conference

Attendees of the G3 Conference break out in song in a Marriott lobby after a bomb threat forced them to evacuate the Georgia International Conference Center where the event was taking place, on September 22, 2023. | Screenshot: X/Josh Buice

A bomb threat forced the evacuation of a gathering of Christians who remained cheerful as the unexpected development derailed their evening plans. 

G3 Ministries, an annual conference launched by Pastor Josh Buice of Pray's Mill Baptist Church that seeks to "educate, encourage, and equip local churches with sound biblical theology for the glory of God," held its event, themed “The Sovereignty of God,” last Thursday through Saturday.

As attendees gathered for a screening of John MacArthur’s “The Essential Church” Friday evening, a bomb threat forced them to evacuate the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park where the conference was held. 

Shannon Paul Halliday, the director of “The Essential Church,” took to X Friday evening to announce that he was “mic’d up and ready to go on to talk about the Essential Church movie, and a bomb threat came into the building.” He noted that “G3’s been evacuated,” a development he referred to as “interesting timing.”

An update shared on social media shared a message sent by G3 Ministries Executive Vice President Scott Aniol, who wrote: “As most of you are aware, there was a threat this evening at GICC, but praise the Lord that all are safe. The individual who issued the threat has been detained, and authorities are currently clearing the building. No one will be able to get back into the building tonight, but any personal possessions left in the building will be secure.” 

Fox 5 Atlanta reported that the College Park Police Department arrested Timothy Mixon, 33, in connection with the bomb threat. He is being held at the Clayton County Jail. 

After the bomb threat forced them to evacuate the conference, several attendees congregated in the lobby of the nearby Marriott to sing Christian worship music. Josh Buice, founder and president of G3 Ministries, commented on the spontaneous expression of worship by declaring, “Even in the midst of moments of difficulty, God’s people have a reason to sing.” 

“It was arranged by God’s providence,” he added. “I whistled to gain everyone’s attention and stood on a table to address the crowd in the lobby of the Marriott where hundreds of us among the more than 8,300 at the conference had gathered. I directed their attention to @ScottAniol who led us as we began to sing God’s praises. Everyone else in the hotel paused to take it in, both guests and staff. A truly amazing moment.”

Video footage accompanying Buice’s post shows those assembled in the Marriott Lobby singing “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” While the bomb threat prevented the G3 Conference attendees from watching “The Essential Church” as a group, one of them took to X to indicate that “every attendee got a personal copy this morning” as part of what she described as a “Check mate.” 

After Aniol reported in a subsequent update that “there were no reported injuries or any harm to anyone” and that “nothing of concern was discovered,” the conference resumed Saturday for its final day of programming. Noting that “eight different law enforcement agencies were involved in clearing the GICC,” Aniol expressed gratitude for the efforts of the “GICC staff, G3 staff and security, and law enforcement” for their efforts: “Let us thank the Lord together that the threat did not materialize and no one was harmed.”

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

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