A pastor, activist, and prominent street preacher claims Cash App closed his account because the mobile payment app does not approve of him protesting at LGBT events.
Rich Penkoski leads Warriors for Christ, a Tennessee-based ministry whose mission is to “bring the church back to the faith of the 1st century, to heal the sick, and to preach the gospel to all of creation.”
Part of Penkoski’s work includes regularly traveling around the country to protest drag shows and LGBT events. Up until now, he has used his Cash App account to fund the ministry. Now he tells the Christian Post he lost access to Cash App last week because he speaks out.
“I found out a few days ago, and I did an appeal,” he told the outlet Friday. Penkoski shared that after discovering the account was closed he decided to call customer service instead of waiting through the platform’s appeals process.
“I called them, and I got a customer rep on the phone, and I said … ‘Why did you guys close my account?'” he said. Penkoski explained to the Cash App representative that he has held the account for six years without a problem.
The rep told Penkoski he was canceled because of “a violation of the terms of service.” When he pushed for further clarification, Penkoski was told the platform did not like what he was using the funds for.
“And I said, ‘What do you mean?’ And it’s because people would donate money, again not huge sums of money, but when we would travel and go preach … (at) a Drag Queen Story Hour, pride event or what have you … a lot of people would send Cash App for … gas money, things like that,” Penkoski explained.
“I said, ‘Now you’re going to cancel Christians’ accounts because of what we’re using the money that people send us for?'” he asked. Penkoski said the representative “got really nasty” and told him she was canceling his appeal and then proceeded to hang up the phone.
He told CP that he told his followers if they wanted to donate to him to send the money to his wife’s Cash App account. “Within 24 hours, they kicked her off,” he said.
Penkoski says he is considering legal action. For now, he is using other mobile payment platforms to accept donations.
“People would contact our ministry if they had a need … we would give people money for groceries, we’d give people money to help pay an electric bill if they needed it,” Penkoski explained.
This is not the first time the street preacher has faced pushback for his beliefs. As CBN News reported, in April, a Washington County judge in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, ordered Penkoski to stay silent on social media for five years after he expressed his moral and religious concerns in posts about a church that endorses same-sex marriage and a public drag queen performance in front of children.