Pastor Who Took In Runaway Fired

13 News, Florida/January 22, 2010

Orlando - A new audio tape has surfaced with explosive conversation between the Orlando pastor who took in runaway teen Rifqa Bary and his church board members.

During the 40-minute conversation, board members fired Pastor Blake Lorenz and his wife, Beverly.

Blake and Beverly Lorenz: "You're not sorry! You guys are crazy. You guys are evil! You guys are the most evil people I've ever heard!"

Board members said the Lorenzes' personal crusade to help Bary turned into a church matter, and legal lines were crossed.

Board Member: "We know the right and wrong way to do things legally, and you guys take it upon yourself to just go, 'Oh, let's just do it this way,' and we find out you've done all this stuff illegally."

Blake Lorenz: "We haven't done anything illegally.

The pastor told News 13 he did not understand what the big deal was. He admitted to losing his cool, but said he did not do anything wrong.

"We did what anyone would do," Lorenz said. "We never meant to mislead anyone. All we did was change the story to save somebody's life."

Lorenz admitted he lied to the media, but said he has always told authorities the truth.

News 13 also spoke with Shayan Elahi, the former attorney for Rifqa Bary's father. He said the recording proves Lorenz was lying to a number of people all along.

"There's all this evidence present at this point, and hopefully, authorities will do the right thing," Elahi said.

Elahi told News 13 the truth isn't something you tell to some and not to others.

"I was told a lie is a lie," he said. "Lying to the media goes out to law enforcement as well, and lying is lying and even a pastor lying is a very disturbing thing right there," Elahi said.

Lorenz said he did not it that way at all, insisting that he lied to help save a life.

"As my daughter put it, Schindler in 'Schindler's List.' Nobody's attacking him for protecting people," Lorenz said.

Lorenz maintained he made sure all his actions were perfectly legal, and sought legal advice before taking in Rifqa Bary.

Elahi told News 13 his client hopes criminal charges will be pursued against Lorenz, and if not, he would contemplate a civil suit.

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