Former student furious college has abandoned its Baptist roots as it planned to host anti-Christian drag event

A former student of a Missouri college founded by Baptists was planning to peacefully protest an on-campus drag-themed event Friday featuring two “nuns” affiliated with the Sisters of Perpetual…

A former student of a Missouri college founded by Baptists was planning to peacefully protest an on-campus drag-themed event Friday featuring two “nuns” affiliated with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, before the school suddenly sent out a cancelation notice just hours before the event.

When Makenna Gray received an email from William Jewell College, where she attended from 2022–2023, announcing a “Drag Werk!Shop,” she couldn’t believe it.

“I was furious at first, not because it was a drag event, but because of what this group has done to ridicule Christianity,” Gray told The Lion, referring to the Sisters group, which parodies Catholic nuns with drag queens.

“Jewell sings and preaches about how inclusive and against discrimination the school is,” she added. “Yet, they are lacking integrity in this area. A good portion of this college is Christ-loving or religiously-affiliated. Their feelings are not taken into account like those of the LBGTQ community.” 

As first reported by The Lion Tuesday, the event was to be hosted by a student organization at the college called the Gender Inclusivity and Feminism Team (GIFT). Shortly after the Tuesday report was published, the group closed the event to “members only.”

Then, according to a statement sent to students Friday, the college announced it had asked GIFT not to hold the event after all.

“It was determined that the community response to a group joining the GIFT event created an environment in which constructive dialogue would not occur,” says the message, with a 3:28 p.m. timestamp. “Thus, proceeding would not fulfill GIFT’s intentions for the event to unite the Jewell community by critically examining the intersectionality of gender, sexuality, and spirituality on this campus and beyond. GIFT’s primary concern is the safety of our community.”

Gray, who left the college last year and now studies sonography elsewhere, took issue with the mocking nature of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, which she first heard about when the group was invited, disinvited, and re-invited to be honored by the Los Angeles Dodgers last year.

“Baptist or not, no school should support a ‘charity’ that mocks and taunts a whole religion,” she said of the group. “William Jewell is just taking more and more steps away from God.”

The college was founded 175 years ago by Baptists in Missouri, but it broke with the Missouri Baptist Convention in 2003.

“They [the Sisters] decided to pole dance on a crucified Jesus Christ, while sexualizing their actions at the same time,” Gray recalled. “I cannot help but be disgusted. They perform straight blasphemy.”  

Gray had planned to peacefully protest the event, saying she felt called by God to do so. 

“[God’s] love needs to be spread,” she told The Lion. “I am protesting because it is simply not right. Why should we be silent when our Lord and Savior is being ridiculed? 

“God is calling those who are passionate about justice and those that are willing to take a stand for righteousness. Matthew 10:32 says, ‘Stand up for me against world opinion and I’ll stand up for you before my father in heaven.'”

After publicly condemning the event in a social media post, Gray said she was accused of being “homophobic” and not a real Christian.

“Many people took my offense and twisted [my comments],” she said. “They think I’m homophobic and not just sticking up for my God. They tell me I am not a Christian.” 

Despite the backlash, Gray said it’s time for Christians to stand up for their beliefs.

“I do feel like it’s time to stop being quiet,” Gray told The Lion. “Christians all over the world are being persecuted in all forms. Turning the other cheek only goes so far. If the Lord is calling you to do something, you cannot hesitate. His kingdom is coming, I want everyone to be able to be a part of it.”