Former KKK Member, Nazi Baptized by Those He Used to Hate

By Nancy Flory Published on August 14, 2018

“The Klan wasn’t hateful enough for me, which is why I became a Nazi.”

Ken Parker recently spoke to NBC News about his life before Christ. The former neo-Nazi and Grand Dragon of the KKK attended last year’s white nationalist Unite the Right gathering at Charlottesville, Virginia. It was the day that 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed as white nationalists and counterprotestors fought over the removal of Civil War statues.

What a difference one year can make. Last month, Parker was baptized by a black pastor.

A Life of Hate

Parker joined the KKK in 2012. He eventually made his way up the ranks to Grand Dragon. But it wasn’t extreme enough. So, he joined the National Socialist Movement.

He believed that attending the Unite the Right rally on August 12, 2017, was a way to “stand up for my white race.”

“It was thinly veiled [as an effort] to save our monuments, to save our heritage. But we knew when we went in there that it was gonna turn into a racially heated situation, and it wasn’t going to work out good for either side.”

An Act of Kindness

When the rally was over, he and others went back to the parking garage. He wasn’t feeling well in the heat. A woman named Deeyah Khan was filming the rally as part of a documentary titled, “White Right: Meeting the Enemy.” She checked to make sure he was okay. “I pretty much had heat exhaustion after the rally because we like to wear our black uniforms, and I drank a big Red Bull before the event,” Parker said. “And I was hurting and she was trying to make sure I was OK.”

It was Khan’s kindness that made Parker think about what he was doing. “She was completely respectful to me and my fiancée the whole time. And so that kind of got me thinking: She’s a really nice lady. Just because she’s got darker skin and believes in a different god than the god I believe in, why am I hating these people?”

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Not long after that, Parker and his fiancée met a black pastor in his apartment complex. William McKinnon III, pastor of All Saints Holiness Church, remembered that the couple wanted to ask him some questions. McKinnon invited Parker to an Easter service. Soon everything changed.

A Changed Life

Parker quit the KKK and the National Socialist Movement. During a time of testimony at his church, Parker told the mostly black congregation that he’d been a Grand Dragon and Nazi. He asked for forgiveness. “And a lot of them, their jaws about hit the floor and their eyes got real big. But after the service, not a single one of them had anything negative to say. They’re all coming up and hugging me and shaking my hand, you know, building me up instead of tearing me down.”

On July 21, 2018, McKinnon baptized Parker in the Atlantic ocean after a quick hug. This time, he was wearing a white robe. Many of the church’s congregants were waiting to embrace him on the shore.

Removing Symbols of Hate

He’s still changing. Last week, Parker began the process of removing three tattoos: a swastika, a Klan symbol and a Confederate flag with the words “white pride” below. It’s a way to show how much he’s changed. “I want to say I’m sorry. I do apologize. I know I’ve spread hate and discontent through this city immensely. Probably made little kids scared to sleep in their own beds in their own neighborhoods.”

Now, Parker gets questions from members of hate groups. They want to know how to get out, too. “You can definitely get out of this movement. I mean, I was into that so much — it was my life, for six years. I never thought I would get out. Get out. You’re throwing your life away.”

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