Ohio Pastor Arrested on Felony Charges in Connection With Jan. 6 Capitol Riot

By Dale Chamberlain
Bill Dunfee, pastor of New Beginnings Ministries in Warsaw, Ohio, has been arrested on federal felony charges for his role in riots at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021. (Photos: US Dept. of Justice criminal complaint)

On Wednesday, Bill Dunfee, pastor of New Beginnings Ministries in Warsaw, Ohio, was arrested on federal felony charges in connection with the riot at the United States Capitol Building on January 6, 2021. 

Dunfee has been charged with interfering with a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder and obstruction of an official proceeding, in addition to five misdemeanors.

An FBI investigation into Dunfee’s involvement began in February 2021, after someone tipped off the agency to a Facebook comment that said, “My local ministry group was there and members of our group ‘stormed’ the Capital (sic) for a redress of our grievances. Leading the way was Pastor Bill. We as Christinas (sic) have the duty to overthrow evil.”

“Just a clarification…Pastor Bill and several others of our group made into the interior doors of the Capital. (sic) They pushed back and forth with the police. They talked to the officers and told them why they were there. Not to harm or destroy,” the same person later commented. “They wanted to talk to the Congress. When an officer came back and said that wasn’t possible, they tried to force the doors open. They were pepper sprayed and were stopped.”

That commenter also identified Bill Dunfee as pastor of New Beginnings Ministries. 

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After determining through cell phone tracking that Dunfee had been in the area of the Capitol during the riot, the criminal complaint states that the FBI searched publicly available video and photo evidence as well as CCTV footage for Dunfee, which revealed Dunfee was “present in various locations in Washington, D.C., and in the restricted area of the U.S. Capitol grounds.”

bill dunfee
Bill Dunfee on January 6 (Photo: US Dept of Justice)

The complaint includes several screen captures of Dunfee in various locations at the Capitol. In several photos, Dunfee can be seen pushing through a police barricade along with other rioters. In others, he can be seen speaking to fellow protesters via a megaphone. 

The complaint also provided quotations from a sermon Dunfee gave in December 2020, wherein Dunfee said, “The government, the tyrants, the socialists, the Marxists, the progressives, the RINOs, they fear you. And they should. Our problem is we haven’t given them reason to fear us.”

“As I said earlier in another previous sermon is this, they used to tell us, you know what, you settle your differences at the ballot. How did that work out for us? It’s not over. [January] the 4th through the 6th, we are heading to D.C.,” Dunfee later said. “Who’s going with us?”

Dunfee allegedly used his pulpit to regularly propagate the false claim that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump through the use of fraudulently cast ballots. 

During the Capitol riot, Dunfee allegedly told other protesters through his megaphone, “This election has been stolen right out from underneath of our noses and it is time for the American people to rise up. Rise up. Rise up. Today is the day in which it is that these elected officials realize that we are no longer playing games.” 

bill dunfee Jan 6 riot
Bill Dunfee (Video Screengrab)

“Mister police officers, we want you to understand something. We want you to understand something. We want Donald Trump, and if Donald Trump is not coming, we are taking our house. We are taking our house,” Dunfee allegedly later said to Capitol police. 

After rioters succeeded in infiltrating the Capitol Building, Dunfee allegedly said, “Hallelujah,” and “Mission accomplished.” 

It is not known when Dunfee is set to appear in federal court. 

More than 900 people have been charged in connection with the Capitol riot, several of them pastors and church leaders. 

This article originally appeared at ChurchLeaders.com.

Dale Chamberlain (M.Div) is the Content Manager for ChurchLeaders.com. He is also a blogger and podcaster who is passionate about helping people tackle ancient truths in everyday settings. He lives in Southern California with his wife Tamara and their two sons.



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16 thoughts on “Ohio Pastor Arrested on Felony Charges in Connection With Jan. 6 Capitol Riot”

    1. Just a another deceitful religious fascist all dressed up in the name of Jesus…a total phony who could care less about the kingdom of God… but only about the lust of his fleshly ego.

      This kind of propaganda rhetoric and deceit simply reflects standard Antichrist fascism so deeply diseased the white American Evangelical Church – any fool can see through it… and realize how contrary it is to the call of Christ in his kingdom.

      1. “6. An elder must be blameless, the husband of one wife, with faithful children who cannot be charged with dissipation or rebellion. 7. For the overseer must be blameless as one entrusted with God’s work, not arrogant, not prone to anger, not a drunkard, not violent, not greedy for gain. 8. Instead he must be hospitable, devoted to what is good, sensible, upright, devout, and self-controlled.” (Titus 1:6-8, NETfree)

        As Julie also pointed he has disqualified himself as a pastor ❗🦨

    2. Richard Stadter

      So nice to have another pastor to condemn this Friday morn! Having a little trouble seeing the restoration of the church, the stated goal here, when condemnation is made for not knowing or acting as desired by some, as in sexual assault, and for acting, as in matters of election fraud. There’s even condemnation for acting to renew and restore fallen pastors! Is this attempting to restore the church or replace church authority with a different focus?

      1. I am all for restoring fallen pastors to the church. I am 100% against restoring fallen pastors to positions of leadership.

        God’s name has been run through the mud by these wolves parading as shepherds. God gave qualifications for pastors for a reason. He cares passionately about His glory and reputation, and the protection of the sheep, and we should too.

        I wish I didn’t have to publish stories like these. But until congregations and elder boards begin providing real accountability, we will continue to follow the mandate in 1 Tim 5:20 to publicly expose sinning elders so others may stand in fear. That is part of restoring the church. I’m sorry if you can’t see that.

      2. Richard,

        Aren’t we instructed to “first take the beam out (our) your own eye, and then (we) will see clearly to remove the speck from (our) brother’s eye”?

  1. It may prove difficult, or even not possible, for Dunfee to get a “fair trial”. The views he depended on to justify and drive the actions which now see him charged with criminal offence, remain held to, in one form or another, by a significant constituency in the American population. Such that judgement of those views remain subject to polarised partisan bias; be they rejected or accepted. Who do you then take as jury from the jury-pool? Will we see a wisdom in the trial process which can even-handedly and simultaneously entertain rejection and acceptance of those views. Should Dunfee be seen, for example, as a foot-soldier, or even a conscript, in a “falsehood” that was constructed by other players.

  2. Rabindranath Ramcharan

    How many pastors were on hand during the “fiery, but mostly peaceful protests” during 2020, and how many of them were arrested and charged?
    My guess is, not very many.

  3. You’d be surprised by the number of Americans who have no interest or knowledge of what’s going on in the world, or even in the rest of the United States. I have a friend who is extremely intelligent and rational and pretty much middle of the road when it comes to his political outlook, but he also assiduously avoids the news as much as he can. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve told him something that’s been headline news for days, and he hadn’t the first clue what I was talking about.

    He’d make a perfect juror for a case like this.

  4. The melding of über nationalistic “patriotism”with Christianity is creating a monster that will not easily be tamed. The desire of so many “Christians” to wield political power over their secular “enemies” will eventually lead to the vast diminishment of Christianity’s influence in America, I predict.
    This is what happens when the church of Christ embraces culture wars.

    1. I’m not so sure about that. I’m no fan of “patriotic Christianity” but I grew up in the UK where church leaders were (uncontroversially) more likely to be part of the establishment than preaching fire and brimstone against it, and churches started emptying out around almost 50 years ago. Nobody cared.

      From what I have observed since moving to the US, harnessing the political power of conservative (mostly evangelical) Christians, while undoubtedly a cynical tactic by the Republican Party, who couldn’t care less about doctrine and morality, has helped to keep conservative Christians engaged in their faith. A lot of the rhetoric about being a persecuted minority is way overblown, but that existential fear has served to keep Christianity from drifting slowly toward irrelevance in America as it has in other western democratic nations.

      It’s the fight that continues to invigorate Christians, and keeping them caring, at least for now. Perhaps that will change now that Trump’s presidency has proven it’s much more about political grievances than faith, but for now, political engagement driven by a persecution complex has staved off Christianity’s decline much more effectively here than in, say, Europe.

    1. We are all familiar with the phrase If a tree fall in the forest and no one is there to hear it does it make any noise? I think with stories such as this one might say If one refuses to read such stores or view the evidence does it actually exist? Our government has taken a Sgt, Schultz approach to election fraud and has seen nothing therefore it must not exist.

      1. Actually, our government has taken a huge interest in election fraud.

        Several swing states established bipartisan investigations of vote fraud in Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and other states and found there was no widespread vote fraud. Trump’s own Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security said that 2020 was “one of the safest elections in the nation’s history.”

        Since then, the Department of Justice and certain states have begun investigations into vote fraud issues. Georgia seems prepared to indict people after the midterms in the fraudulent fake elector scheme. Michigan AG Dana Nessel has recommended a criminal investigation of the Republican AG candidate for hacking into voting machines in the state.

        Colorado has indicted a woman for hacking into voting machines. My Pillow Mike Lindell conspiracy theorist is also under criminal investigation there for identity theft and hacking into voting machines.

        So yes, our government has been taking this very seriously.

    1. Kenly,

      I hope that these election fraud theories can get out in the open.

      The real problem that is happening is that Trump’s people when given the chance to expose the “fraud” are avoiding subpoenas, refusing to testify and taking the 5th Amendment to protect themselves from being prosecuted.

      So seriously, if we on the right are really doing God’s will, why is it necessary to lie, cheat and steal to bring about His will in America?

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