October 1, 2003 by

Brian Florence


Categories: Misc.

Brian Florence, a Virginia man who became famous for taking part in a radio stunt, died on Sept. 25 of a heart attack. He was 38.

In 2002, Florence and his girlfriend, Loretta Lynn Harper, allegedly had sex inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, at the urging of the shock jocks on the “Opie and Anthony Show.” Police heard the show and found the couple in the church vestibule, trying to win a prize for having sex in a public place.

Florence was scheduled to appear in court yesterday to face charges of obscenity and public lewdness. The couple’s attorney said they were only simulating copulation.
WNEW-FM later fired DJs Greg “Opie” Hughes and Anthony Cumia for the stunt.

Hear the Radio Broadcast

17 Responses to Brian Florence

  1. peggy

    Brian, had found a higher calling and was getting his life back at the time of his death. I resent the press depicting him as a total idiot. This incident was who he was a year ago not who he was when he died.

  2. julie

    Brian Florence was a sweet, loving brother, son, father of 3 boys, and great friend. He was led astray but found the right road again. His death was a shocking tragedy and the many wholoved him will miss him

  3. jean scott

    Brian made a mistake. He was a loving, caring person who did many other things in his life that was good. He was living a good, clean life and was very sorry for his mistake. He was a Christian and I know he is in Heaven. All of his friends and family mourn him and their loss.

  4. A non e moose

    I do not think Brian made a mistake. I heard the show and I was entertained. I was laughing hysterically throughout that whole show. Brian was having fun, and I hope a part of him still clung to the idea that his actions were not in any way dangerous or ‘bad’
    I’m sorry that the puritan values of this country made Brian and Loretta suffer as examples of what is not ‘tolerated’ by society.
    Those of you that have posted above me are obviously closer to him than I am, but I still stand by my assessment that what Brian did was harmless and did not deserve such outcry and legal hassles.
    Brian, may you rest in peace.

  5. Righteous One

    >>Those of you that have posted above me are obviously closer to him than I am, but I still stand by my assessment that what Brian did was harmless and did not deserve such outcry and legal hassles.<<
    It’s truly sad and regrettable that there are some people who think that committing a lewd act in public, in a house of worship no less, is merely harmless fun. I hope this young man repented for his sin before his untimely demise. It’s a lesson for us all

  6. brandi florence-lewis

    for all of you who didn’t know brian , he was such a caring person. I remember one time he bought me a makeup set for christmas. Brian was my uncle , and despite what he did i’m proud to have the same last name. Unless your related to me , you wouldn’t know the Brian I knew, he was loving he was so talented , I never really got to see him before he passed away, but i did talk to him, and yes he was sorry for what he had done, and I know he’s in heaven. I just recently got married and I really wish he could have been here to see my new husband and I. i know he can still see me from heaven. I know he made a mistake, but even though he did, he’s my blood, and i’ll defend his name.

  7. Bible Reader

    God is merciful, and if he sincerely repented by asking for forgiveness in the name of Jesus, then I am certain God forgave him.

  8. Angie

    Brian was a sweet man with a generous heart. He was my cousin, and I personally remember him for his life as a whole, not for one mistake he made. Thankfully, I believe God sees us the same way, and does not judge us based on one isolated moment in our lives, and instead sees our whole lives and the happiness we brought to others. I remember Brian for the fun times at the beach and the laughter at family gatherings, and I know the family will too. May he rest in peace.

  9. B Daddium

    The thought of what they did in St. Patrick’s (or any other Christian church), frightens me. I remember when a couple of guys in Houston held up an evening church meeting, at gun point. After they got the cash from the offering plates, and lifted the valuables of those in attendance; the leading would-be ‘robber,’ age 22, fell over dead. His young partner abandoned the whole effort and ran out of the church. Isaiah said that God “hides himself” from the world–He wants us to make our own ‘autonomous’ decisions. Nevertheless, His apparent absense doesn’t negate the reality of His being. I am not saying that Brian is in hell. God loved Brian, and, I’m certain, dealt mercifully with him prior to his death. But what Brian DID sent a hair-raising dare to his maker; before an adamant and unbelieving world. Brian’s blatantly untimely demise was God’s answer to that high-handed behavior. Brian is very probably in heaven–because God is so very, very gracious. But the world will still be forced to deal with the concept of the existence of a holy God with whom we may not trifle.

  10. Doreen

    I believe someone of you have forgotten the meaning of “tribute” and that this page is for that and that only. The last I understood, tribute meant “something done or created to show thanks or respect; expression of admiration, compliment, etc.” This site is not for determining whether or not there is a god, whether or not there is a heaven or hell, whether an individual is one place or the other or to air anybody’s dirty laundry. No one has the right to judge anyone else because none of us can say that we haven’t done anything wrong, anything that we don’t regret, or anything that God would turn a blind eye to. To me, the worst thing that anybody could do is take someone else’s life. I was Brian’s very first girlfriend and he my first boyfriend (5th grade and part of 6th and for me, 6th grade and part of 7th). 43 yrs later, I still remember him as being very thoughtful, kind, giving, loving, sensitive, fun, loyal and dependable, etc. His life ended way too early and will be missed by many.

  11. Michael

    Brian made a huge mistake and is suffering the eternal consequences. He knew it was a grievous sacrilege but chose to do it anyway. Stupid is as stupid does.

  12. Tim

    Todd Smith, who posted on January 8, 2006 at 11:31 PM, is a terrible human being. I did not know Brian Florence personally, but his actions in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, while misguided, showed a love and joy of life that most of us cannot comprehend. He did something that was on the stupider side of things, but to suggest, or revel in the fact, that he is “burning in hell” is cruel, brutal, and callous, and is clearly not the sentiment of a decent human being. Shame on you, Mr. Smith. And rest in peace, Mr. Florence.

  13. Kyle

    OK seriously!? I wasn’t going to post on something so old, but some of you people need a reality check and you need to get over it!
    It’s a building!! A building of brick and mortar from the Earth that God made and will one day destroy.
    He doesn’t care anymore about that church building than he cares about the outhouse in someone’s backyard, or the bedrooms that all of you sex in. None is “holier” than another.
    God cares about people! The Bible even states that the church is made up of the people, not the building. “Where two or more gather in my name I’m there too”, you do read the Bible you’re thumping don’t you? It’s we humans that attach stigma and deify our buildings (and you Catholics seem to be the worst at doing this).
    Which do you think pi$$es God off more … those of you who worship a collection of mud and dirt or this guy enjoying life and having fun in a way that didn’t hurt a single one of you?!?
    And what happened to “judge not lest ye be judged”? Those of you shaking your heads, waging your fingers and condemning this man to hell for something that is no big deal should contemplate that Bible verse. Or how about the one that says, “Remove the plank from your own eye before you bother to remove the speck from your neighbors”. The point is “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”. HE isn’t sitting up above us on some golden throne keeping a ledger book and giving us the one way stamp to hell for every little infraction. And from what I read, a sin is a sin is a sin in God’s eyes, so when you lied to that homeless guy on the street and told him you didn’t have any change it’s the same if you had taken a knife and stabbed him to death. All are sins, all require you to simply ask for forgiveness. It’s we humans that punish ourselves and distance ourselves from God’s love. HE IS LOVE, he wants to love us and he wants us to love him. All he asks if that we seek forgiveness. Once that is done then the only one left punishing us is ourselves.
    I love how so many “experts” spout off on the web about how this is wrong, and that’s wrong … BECAUSE THE BIBLE SAYS SO. And then you ignore some of the key verses in the text. I really have to wonder if any of you have ever even cracked the spine of that Bible you’re thumping. And before you ask, yes I have … I was born & raised Church of Christ. I memorized, word for word, about 6 books of the Bible and studied the whole text quite exhaustively (which if you know anything about the Church of Christ, is a common trait of that denomination of Christianity). I know there’s always more to learn, but I’m appalled at the “experts” on this site attempting to do God’s job for him, and I bet that pi$$es him off more than anything this guy ever did.
    Sorry to go off on a tirade, but this is one of God’s children that he loves and some of you need a serious reality check.

  14. Dan

    I didn’t know Brian. I am Catholic. I am a New Yorker. I remember the stunt. It is with deep sincerety that I hope that Brian made peace with God before he died. One act does not a life make. Everybody has sinned and fallen short of the grace of God and may God’s mercy be on him.

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