Concord pastor claims arrest for threats is 'bogus'

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Concord pastor Phillip "Flip" Benham was arrested for threatening a volunteer at a Charlotte woman's clinic.

The pastor, who holds rallies with dozens of people throughout the week, especially at woman's clinics that provide abortions, told Channel 9 the arrest was "bogus."

A volunteer at A Preferred Woman’s Health Clinic on Latrobe Drive in Charlotte claims the pastor threatened her life during one of his rallies.

The clinic’s director told Channel 9 in a statement that they are scared by the group’s “pattern of violence.”

The volunteer said Benham approached her and “menacingly” and “repeatedly” told her, “You are dead,” and was fearing the threat would be carried out.

“There has never has been one convicted act of violence there at all. I've been there 17 years," Benham said.

Benham claims he did not threaten the clinic volunteer, but rather said she was “dead in her sins.”

He said he was referring to the Christian principles that don’t align with abortion.

Benham told Channel 9’s Stephanie Tinoco that he has worked to stand up for unborn children and has been arrested dozens of time.

He said he will gladly sit in a cell for the cause. He said he lost count how many times he's been arrested.

“We care about choice. We know that God has called all of us to make a choice. And only we have that choice. We want to help them,” Benham said.

Benham admits he was for abortion decades ago, and even encouraged people to go through with it, but his stance changed after marriage.

“When Roe v. Wade passed, I was excited about that," Benham said. "I even wanted my two boys, I wanted them aborted, but my wife Faye, who just died this October, said there’s no way in the world I would ever do that and it just stopped me. I wanted a divorce. I was so upset, but then I realized I was being selfish."

Benham said he wants women to know if they’re willing, his crew is willing to help them get through an unwanted pregnancy and choose life.

“From Jan. 1 to Jan. 24, 70 women have chosen life,” Benham said. "We're offering life for them and help for them."