A church is Upstate New York is catching fire over its controversial July 4th weapon raffle. One lucky winner will have their choice between an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle or an actual flamethrower.

The giveaway is reportedly very real, and it's being put on by the Grace Baptist Church in Troy, New York. The church has generated its fair share of controversy over the years for its past weapons raffles as well as its non-inclusive, alt-right sermons.


In a video posted on the church's official Twitter account back on April 23rd, pastor John Koletas said:

We’re also, as we’ve done in the past, going to give away not just an AR-15 on each night, Monday night and Tuesday night, but we’re also giving the option if somebody wants to have a flamethrower. The winner, the very fortunate attendee, will either choose to get an AR-15, a New York modified AR-15, or a flamethrower.

It's curerntly legal to own a flamethrower in the state of New York.

This is not the first time Troy's Grace Baptist Church has raffled off weapons. The church gave away AR-15s back in 2014, 2017 and 2020. Winners of the semi-automatic rifles are expected to pass a background check, per New York State law.

The Grace Baptist Church's official Twitter account describes itself as "an old-fashioned church preaching the old-time religion in Troy NY since July 1, 1987." The controversial giveaway is part of the church's 36th anniversary celebration.

You can follow their Twitter page for all the wacky shenanigans.

Historic Westminster Presbyterian Church For Sale in Utica, New York

Check Out These 14 Upstate New York Churches For Sale Right Now!

There are over 100 churches currently for sale in Upstate New York. Some are small and in rural settings, and some are big cathedral-like structures in big cities. Some have been renovated into private homes (see photos in the gallery). So, if you are looking for something a little different in the real estate market, here is a list of 14 churches for sale right now in Upstate, ranging in price from $25,000 to $750,000. Have a look!

HOLY Smokes! This House & Church Combo is One HELL of a Deal!

This property in Mohawk includes a 2-story home AND a church.

More From 96.9 WOUR