Andrew Brunson, a pastor and former Turkish political prisoner, will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30 in Harbison Chapel at Grove City College.
Brunson spent 20 years in Turkey as a missionary and served as the pastor of Izmir Resurrection Church. He was arrested in October 2016 and detained on charges including terrorism and espionage, with authorities alleging he was involved in a failed coup earlier that year. As others charged in the coup were released, it became clear that Bruson’s religious beliefs influenced his continued detainment by the government.
Brunson’s plight inspired Christians around the world to advocate for his release. After two years in Turkish prisons and under house arrest, he was eventually released on Oct. 12, 2018 after a series of court hearings which saw witnesses against him abandoning earlier testimony. Brunson was found guilty but released on good behavior and time served.
When Brunson, originally from Black Mountain, N.C., returned to the United States, President Donald J. Trump welcomed him into the Oval Office where he and his wife, Norine, prayed for the President, asking God’s blessing on him.
“Brunson’s honesty about the struggles of prison, and his deep commitment to the Lord make him a powerful speaker, so we are very excited to have him on campus,” Zach Pitcher ’17, Grove City College chapel ministries coordinator, said.
Brunson’s Wednesday talk is part of Grove City College’s Kingdom Week. He will also speak in Chapel at 9:25 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 31. Both events are free and open to the public.
Kingdom Week was founded in 2017 by students wanting a greater emphasis on global mission in the College’s twice-weekly chapel programming. The weeklong observance features speakers like Brunson and workshops with missions groups.