Organizers end gas station boycott after owner cuts ties with ministry
Activists called off a week-old boycott of an Edina business that allowed a controversial youth ministry to fundraise on their property after Murphy Automotive distanced themselves from the ministry Wednesday.
The boycott kicked off last week when 17-year-old Gabe Aderhold saw members of You Can Run But You Can’t Hide ministry, which is run by Bradlee Dean, fundraising at the Edina Car Wash. Organizers told the Minnesota Independent last week that they’d end the boycott when the business released a clear statement distancing themselves from the ministry.
Murphy’s Automotive posted the statement on its website Wednesday.
“We have supported this organization, along with many others, but not Mr. Bradlee Dean personally. We have taken these accusations seriously and in no way do we hate or promote hatred of any people groups,” the statement reads.
Management at the business researched the issues around Dean, the statement says:
“While we find no fault with a Biblically-based Christian message, we do take issue with the lack of respect Mr. Dean personally has shown on occasion when communicating that Christian message he claims to support. Therefore, effective today, we are no longer going to allow the organization that Mr. Dean heads to use our facility.”
Aderhold told the Minnesota Independent that Edina Car Wash owner Timothy Murphy texted him Wednesday to let him know about the company’s decision.
“I was a little surprised actually,” Aderhold said of the statement by Murphy. “But I think he saw where we are coming from so I respect that final decision.”
The Facebook page that launched the boycott recently disappeared from the site without Aderhold’s knowledge. (Facebook hasn’t responded to Minnesota Independent requests for an explanation.) But Aderhold said the next step for organizers was to let the fans of the new Facebook page know the boycott had ended.