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Guys Pastor Talks About Jail Time

By Empriss Campbell
By ecampbell@wbbjtv.com

MCNAIRY COUNTY, Tenn. - Pastor Walter McGill is out of prison after serving 30 days in a California prison for refusing to stop using the trade mark Seventh Day Adventist in his church's name.

"It was suppose to make me weaker and they thought maybe I would come back and take my sign down and stop doing what I'm doing, but no I'm more encouraged to do the thing God wanted me to do," said McGill.

McGill fought in federal court for years over the name Seventh Day Adventist, but it all changed when the court ordered him to change the church name or go to jail.

McGill chose jail instead.

"I don't believe people should go to jail for practicing their religion and I have to admit God allowed it and I have to also say my time in jail was a blessing," said McGill.

McGill was a federal prisoner in California held under civil content. He says he was treated as if he was a real criminal.

"They wanted me to clean the bathroom on the Sabbath. I can't work onto the Sabbath, so he hit me and when I didn't get out of the bed and go he knocked me out of the bed and I caught myself on the floor," said McGill.

According to McGill, the Seventh Day Adventist are seeking permanent jail time. McGill says he has launched a petition to save himself.

"That petition will hopefully gather enough signatures toward the plaintiff church will decide if this is hurting out reputation more than helping let the court of public opinion now speak either for us or the plaintiff," said McGill