Stan McNeil is a retired fire fighter who was working as a bus driver for First Transit while pursuing his dream of becoming a Christian pastor. He often prayed for the passengers on his bus, many of which were students attending Rutgers University. Along with praying for his passengers, McNeil also gave them words of praise and encouragement such as:
“You’re one thought away from greatness, people! You got to continue to do well, do good, keep doing good, keep getting knowledge. And at the right time, that knowledge will explode and it will put you into greatness.”
According to one of his regular passengers, 20 year old psychology and sociology student Kelly Brennan:
“Everybody enjoyed being on his bus. He made us feel good about being in school, good about what we were doing with our lives.”
However, First Transit officials didn’t like McNeil praying for his passengers and had warned him that they don’t do that here, but that didn’t stop him from praying for his passengers. Recently, he prayed for healing of a wheelchair bound woman but soon found himself being pressured to resign because of supposed safety violations. First Transit said that the video camera in the bus clearly showed that McNeil failed to use the right amounts of straps to secure the woman in the wheelchair and that his resignation is about safety, not religion. They released a statement saying:
“This case is about safety, which is a core value of First Transit. Unfortunately, a full internal review revealed that Mr. McNeil had failed to follow a critical safety protocol that was cause for immediate termination. When advised of his violation, Mr. McNeil chose to resign.”
However, the actions taken immediately followed his praying for the woman after being warned not to pray on the bus, which makes you wonder why they didn’t just bring the safety incident to his attention and instruct him to be more careful and follow proper procedures. Did he have other safety violations or was this his first? We’re not told, but if this was his first, I would ask if the same actions of termination for first offense have been equally applied to other drivers.
When asked about his praying for the wheelchair bound woman and First Transit’s instructions to stop, McNeil said:
“She’s going to get a miracle. She’s going to end up walking, and I still believe that.”
“I ain’t going to back down from who I am. I will not compromise. I am all about God, brother.”
In response to McNeil being forced to resign, a number of students at Rutgers have turned to social media sites including YouTube and Facebook to help him get his job back. They also started a petition, Bring Back Stan the LX Driver on Change.org to help him return to the wheel of his bus. As of my writing this article I was the 6,775th person to sign the petition and they claim to need 725 more signatures. I hope 725 of you sign the position and help McNeil get his job back and show employers that Christians aren’t going to stand for having their religious rights and freedoms trampled on anymore.