Group demonstrates on behalf of victims in Chickasha

The Express-Star [Chickasha, OK]

February 27, 2023

By Jessica Lane

A group of five demonstrators gathered on Sunday morning in support of abuse victims in the Chickasha community. 

The group’s spokesperson, Christopher Coutts, said the group gathered in support of victims from all walks of life who have been abused.

“We are here today to stand for victims of all kinds, whether it be mental abuse, physical abuse or sexual abuse. We do not care your identify, your age, your race, your sex, your beliefs, your politics,” Coutts said. “It is simply that the citizens of our town deserve better than to be abused in any way shape or form. It is unacceptable in any way for any member of our community to be treated in this way and for others to think it is alright.” 

The demonstrators stood across the street from New Life Christian Church. Last week, the former senior pastor, Matthew Reiber, was charged with three counts of lewd or indecent acts with a child, according to the Grady County District Attorney. 

On Thursday, the church announced on Facebook that Reiber has resigned. The church’s statement said Reiber denies the allegations. The church said the former pastor is no longer associated with New Life Christian Church.

“I pray for the congregation as a whole,” Coutts said. “That they are able to come together and grow their community stronger after something like this.” 

Church leaders offered the demonstrators coffee and donuts, Coutts said. There were positive interactions between the demonstrators and members of the congregation going into the church. 

“We are not here protesting any actions on behalf of the church. We are simply here to stand in solidarity for those who do not have a voice to speak for themselves,” Coutts said.