Leaders from The Basement say the ministry is "stronger than ever" and will continue to meet for weekly events despite the recent arrest of their well-known leader Matt Pitt.
Pitt was arrested Tuesday night after fleeing from authorities on Red Mountain. Birmingham police said he jumped off a 45 foot high cliff in his attempt to get away, but was taken into custody by officers at the bottom of the hill.
Pitt was wanted in Jefferson County for impersonating a peace officer and in Shelby County for breaking his probation from his 2012 conviction for attempting to impersonate a peace officer.
After bonding out of the Jefferson County Jail, Pitt was booked into the Shelby County Jail where he remains on no bond.
Just before noon today, Vince Lovell with The Basement Ministries responded to our request for a comment with the following statement:
"In light of recent allegations made against Matt Pitt and concerns expressed by newspaper journalists and television news anchors, we would like to address the condition of The Basement Ministry. The Basement is stronger than ever and continues to meet for its weekly events just like it has done for the past 10 years. The Basement continues to stand firm on the Gospel message of the Bible. The Ministry is centered around a message; that is why it only grows stronger with allegations and persecution. This message has been passed down for over 2,000 years and not persecution, allegations, imprisonment, threats, or intimidation to be quiet could ever stop it. No one involved in The Basement is concerned about it ending or slowing down. Quite contrary, they continue to stay focused on reaching just one more person with the message of the Bible. As Matt Pitt says, 'We are not perfect, just forgiven,' and 'God loves you no matter what.' Thank you for your prayers for Matt Pitt, his family, and the Ministry, but continue to pray for the Gospel message to reach everyone that has not heard about God's unconditional love. Thank you and God bless."
According to The Basement's Facebook page, their last meeting was held in Trussville on Tuesday, Aug. 20, the same night Pitt was arrested.
Jefferson County deputies announced last Friday they had a warrant out for Pitt's arrest. Chief Deputy Randy Christian said when it became apparent Pitt was not going to turn himself in, they began searching for him.
When asked about who tipped authorities off to Pitt's location on Tuesday night, Christian said he believed it was probably someone who cared about him and recognized "he needed help."
Pitt's preliminary hearing has been set for September 24.
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