July 13, 2004
Three of the most active Christian Identity groups in the U.S. are planning three separate events in Montana and Idaho on the weekend of July 16-18, 2004. Collectively, these events are expected to gather most of the major Christian Identity figures from around the country. Christian Identity is a racist and anti-Semitic religious sect that figures prominently in right-wing extremist groups and movements in the U.S.
America's Promise Ministries and Aryan Nations will host their annual events in Idaho, while the Church of True Israel (CTI), an offshoot of Aryan Nations, will hold its gathering in Montana. All three events seek to bring together dozens of like-minded Christian Identity adherents, most of whom consider non-whites to be subhuman and Jews to be the offspring of Satan. Other well-known white supremacists are also scheduled to attend the events.
The neo-Nazi Aryan Nations, based in Hayden, Idaho, plans to hold its annual World Congress at the Kahnderosa Campgrounds in Cataldo, Idaho, and to parade in downtown Coeur d'Alene. In addition to Aryan Nations' leader Richard Butler scheduled speakers include neo-Nazis Tom Metzger of White Aryan Resistance and Billy Roper of White Revolution. Ken Greg of the Tennessee's Knights of Yahweh is also scheduled to address the gathering.
Meanwhile, CTI, a splinter group from Aryan Nations started in the 1990s, is planning its own event, dubbed "The Gathering," in St. Regis, Montana. The event, hosted by one of the group's leaders, James Dillavou, will feature speakers and Identity leaders from over half a dozen states, including Mark Downey of Kinsmen Redeemer Ministries in Tacoma, Washington; Morris Gullett of Louisiana's Church of the Sons of YHVH; V.S. Herrell of Tennessee's Christian Separatist Church Society; Don Campbell of Minnesota's Covenant Church of Yahweh; and Rachel Pendergraft and Thom Robb of the Arkansas-based Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. According to CTI, the Militia of Montana will also attend.
Pastor Dave Barley, who heads America's Promise Ministries based in Sandpoint, Idaho, plans to host the third event. Among the anticipated speakers at Barley's annual summer conference are Ron Oja, Doug Evers and Ernestine Young of Idaho's Church of the Covenant; and Warwick Potts and James Bruggeman of North Carolina's Stone Kingdom Ministries.
Though small in numbers, Christian Identity influences virtually all white supremacist and extreme anti-government movements and is practiced by some of the most notorious bigots of the radical right. Several Identity events held in the U.S. in 2004 had 300-500 attendees.