Televangelist holds first ground zero service

September 6, 2010 5:56:52 AM PDT
Florida televangelist Bill Keller began the first service of his new 9/11 Christian church at ground zero on Sunday.

"The reports that this is a hate-filled situation has blown me away. We're not here to preach hate, we're here to preach the truth of the bible," Keller said.

Keller, in a Marriott Hotel ballroom, says his church has nothing to do with objecting to the proposed mosque.

"Absolutely not, they have every right to build it," he said. "In my opinion, it's in poor taste because of the proximity to ground zero."

But it had everything to do with countering the religion.

"If they want to go there and preach the lies of Islam, I can come and preach the truth of the Bible," Keller said.

Keller spoke before roughly three dozen supporters, with support of varying degrees.

One worshipper wore a "peace through understanding" T-shirt.

"I support the mosque, and I support the building of this too," said Richard Borkowski, a West Side resident.

Another worshipper had strong beliefs about Muslims.

"If ever there's a call to terrorism, we don't know what's going to happen, whether they'll turn and go their biblical ways, which is death to the infidels," said Marilyn Aguilar-Cox, a Bronx resident.

There were those against Keller also in attendance.

Keller was heckled after he referred to Islam, Mormons, and other religions as cults.

Keller says he had to bring his stand against Islam to New York and ground zero.

"Because their brothers killed 3,000 people on 9/11. If you look at the Qur'an it is hate, violence, and death," Keller said.