Emotional homecoming for Shelbyville pastor detained India

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Shelbyville pastor is back in the United States after spending months detained in India.

Shelbyville pastor Bryan Nerren was reunited with his family Tuesday night at Nashville International Airport with an emotional homecoming.

Rhonda Nerren had not seen her husband since Oct. 3, 2019 and after seven months of wondering if he would ever come home, her family was finally reunited.

“They told me, you are going to prison, you are going to go to prison for three to seven years, maybe five. Yeah, that kind of messes with your mind,” explained pastor Nerren.

It’s the end of a nightmare that began seven and a half months ago for pastor Nerren. He was detained for supposedly failing to declare money he brought to India to do missionary work and train Sunday School teachers. The pastor believes he was caught up in a crackdown on American Christians.

“There were several missionaries who came by and saw me. I had daily at least, sometimes weekly, visitations. There were several Americans who came through, they were all there for their last trip. They were there to finish what they were doing,” said Nerren.

Nerren told News 2 he is not discouraged by what happened to him.

“They’ve inspired me to do stuff I wasn’t planning on doing, I will be helping supporting churches and the children. That’s all we’ve ever done ministry-wise, we help poor children. It will triple, we will do more than we’ve ever done before in the places they wanted to run me out and stop me from doing,” said Nerren.

For Nerren, the hardest part of his experience was the strain it put on his family.

“I’ve put her through so much pain and so much pain and so much trouble, I never would have ever hurt her, never would have ever wanted to do what we did. We could have never had imagined, I always have known what I was doing was risky, my understanding of risk was they would tell you, ‘you can’t do that,’ kick you out of the country and send you home. Never would have imagined they would take me to prison and hold me for 7 1/2 months for nothing,” said Nerren.

In the immediate future, Nerren’s plans are simple.

“To do whatever my wife tells me, for as long as she tells me. Amen.”

To celebrate his return, people are invited to join a car parade past him home Wednesday morning. Anyone wanting to participate are asked to meet at HV Griffin Park at 9 a.m.

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