A former Hall County Jail employee claims a religious Facebook page he ran called Revival 172 and related materials led to the end of his employment Tuesday.
The Hall County Sheriff’s Office rebutted these claims, saying former Deputy Josh McCuen voluntarily resigned after reprimands for “insubordination and performance of duty issues.”
“Never once did I preach Revival 172 inside the jail. Never did I fraternize,” McCuen said Friday.
McCuen had started playing host to Sunday services at the business center of his apartment complex in Gainesville.
“It’s a calling on my life from God to actually hold this Revival 172 in my free time in a public place for former inmates to help them rehabilitate spiritually,” he said.
His first two sessions brought out only employees, but on the last Sunday, two former inmates attended, McCuen said.
Sheriff Gerald Couch responded Friday in a statement, saying religion played no part in the separation. The Sheriff’s Office said McCuen had recently disobeyed a direct order concerning an inmate.
“When the supervisor addressed this issue with McCuen, there was no reference to religious beliefs or actions as this was not the focus of concern,” the statement reads. “However, McCuen brought up religion as justification for his improper behavior.”
McCuen said he has no plans to file a lawsuit and is not looking to create a spectacle for financial gain.
“I am not angry,” he said. “I hold no ill will and I hold no animosity toward anybody at the Hall County Jail.”
In his statement, Couch said Bibles and religious materials are readily available for inmates.
“I have a strong Christian faith and neither I nor anyone at the Sheriff’s Office would ever persecute someone for their faith, whatever that may be,” Couch said in a statement.
With three kids and a wife, McCuen said he is seeking employment outside of law enforcement.
“My faith is not shaken, by no means. I know what they meant for a setback God meant for a setup, and God’s going to actually bless me because I actually took a stand for him,” he said.