Pastor Accused of Trying to Push McDonald’s Cook Into Deep Fryer

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James Lasher

In a bizarre incident that has left the Christian community in High Point, North Carolina, in disbelief, a local pastor, Dwayne Wayden, allegedly attempted to push a McDonald’s cook, Theodore Garlington, into a deep fryer. The incident occurred Dec. 28, when Wayden’s wife, Latoya Gladney, a trainee manager at the fast-food restaurant, called him to complain about her employees’ behavior.

Pastor Wayden, who is affiliated with Elevated Life International Ministries and also works as a truck driver, arrived at the restaurant and reportedly began punching Garlington in the face before attempting to push his head into the hot oil. Thankfully, several employees managed to intervene and prevent further harm.

The victim suffered a large contusion on his forehead and right eye, along with scratches on his neck. An ambulance was called, but Garlington chose to have his relatives take him to the hospital.

After reviewing the security footage, the High Point Police Department arrested Wayden for assault and battery. He was later released on a $1,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 22.


The incident has raised alarms about the expectations and standards for those in ministry. The Bible teaches that those in leadership positions are held to a higher standard. In James 3:1, it is written, “My brothers, not many of you should become teachers, knowing that we shall receive the greater judgment.”

In this passage, James, the brother of Jesus and the leader of the early Christian community in Jerusalem, offers a word of caution to those who aspire to be teachers or leaders within the church. He warns that those who teach will be held to a higher standard due to their influence and responsibility.

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This verse emphasizes the importance of humility and careful consideration before taking on such a role. It serves as a reminder that teaching is not a position to be taken lightly, but rather one that requires a deep understanding of the subject matter and a commitment to guiding others in their spiritual journey.


As the pastor of Elevated Life International Ministries, Wayden has shared messages about embracing new opportunities and leaving behind old ways of thinking. However, this shocking event has left many wondering how his actions align with the teachings of the church and the expectations of those in ministry.

The local McDonald’s franchise confirmed that Gladney is no longer with the organization, emphasizing that the safety and security of their employees and customers is their top priority.

In a world that’s constantly facing new challenges, the Christian church must remain steadfast in its mission to spread the message of love and hope. The importance of disciplined and biblically rooted leadership has never been more crucial. As the Bible teaches in 1 Timothy 3:1-13, leaders must be above reproach, temperate, self-controlled, respectable and able to teach. A strong and disciplined leadership will not only help the church navigate the complexities of modern society, but also provide a solid foundation for its members to grow in their faith.

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James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.

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