Satanist gives Michigan county board meeting invocation, ending with ‘hail Satan,’ as Christians follow with prayer and Scripture

Tensions ran high at the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners meeting in Michigan on Tuesday as a member of the Satanic Temple West Michigan took center stage to deliver the opening…

Tensions ran high at the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners meeting in Michigan on Tuesday as a member of the Satanic Temple West Michigan took center stage to deliver the opening invocation.

Luis Cypher, a self-proclaimed ordained minister of Satan, invoked Luciferian themes and mocked traditional Christian beliefs in his prayer.

“It is with great humility that I stand before you to deliver the opening invocations this evening,” Cypher said. “Let us stand now, unbowed and unfettered by arcane doctrines born of fearful minds in darkened times. Let us embrace the Luciferian impulse to eat of the tree of knowledge and dissipate our blissful and comforting delusions of old. 

“Let us reason our solution with agnosticism in holding fast only to that which is demonstrably true. Let us stand firm against any and all arbitrary authority that threatens the personal sovereignty of one or of all. That which will not bend must break, and which can be destroyed by truth should never be spared its demise. It is done, hail Satan.” 

During the nearly four-hour public comment session that followed, dozens of individuals stepped forward to condemn the Satanic Temple, quoting from the Bible and offering prayers. 

“I feel like it is a really important moment in time to not only show the love of Christ but to show the power of Christ,” Ottawa County Commissioner Rebekah Curran said. “I wanted to go ahead and say a quick prayer to get us started.” 

“Dear heavenly father, I just thank you for this country. I just welcome your Holy Spirit here tonight and I just pray that everyone will feel the manifest presence of God in this room and in this building today. 

“Father, I pray in the name of Jesus that everyone within the sound of my voice will know that you have died on the cross for them. Because it says in your word that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” 

Joel Studebaker, a local resident read from the Bible before offering this prayer: 

“I thank you Lord Jesus for what you are doing in the hearts and minds of every single person here, whether they know it or not. I thank you Lord Jesus that you are in control and present here in Ottawa County here in the state of Michigan in the United States of America and across this planet. I stand with my brothers and sisters in Christ and I stand for you before anything else, Lord Jesus.” 

During public comment, Donovan Monty Gomez refuted Cypher’s message directly, countering it with more scripture. 

“So, you talked about a fearful mind in dark times?” Monty Gomez said. “God is the Father, and he shines light for all in the dark places.”   

Christy Maplin, speaker number 18, read from Psalm 62 before adding a call to action.  

“There are people who would love to have prayer eliminated in the public square,” Maplin said. “Our nation is in decline because we took God out of schools and because 501c3 status has led religious leaders to tell people the church should not get involved in politics. 

“This leaves the political realm wide open for evil to prevail while believers just sit by wondering why our nation is self-destructing. We the people, the three most important words in the Constitution, can and should pray, but we the people must also stand up together and get involved locally in our communities, schools and country. 

“We cannot be the land of the free if we are not the home of the brave.” 

Prior to the meeting, the building was filled with people singing hymns and holding signs that read “God always, Satan never” and “My Jesus Mercy.”  

While a few supporters of the Satanic Temple chanted “hail Satan,” louder voices were heard saying “We love Jesus.”  

The controversy stemmed from a recent policy change allowing groups like the Satanic Temple to participate in the invocation time. The new policy allowed pastors to deliver an opening prayer on a first-come, first-serve basis as long as they follow a set procedure. 

At the end of the meeting Ottawa County Board of Commissioners Chair Joe Moss asserted the policy would remain in place.  

“I’ve spoken to many local pastors and asked their opinion on this question: should to policy be changed?” Moss said. “They have asked that we regain the current policy because they would like to participate and come to our meetings and pray and I appreciate that.” 

“I look forward to welcoming local pastors who want to come and pray before our meetings.”