This pastor thinks he is suffering for what is right. Maybe God is trying to tell him something…
Reverend loses church in backlash for voting in support of same sex marriage
By Daily Mail Reporter
A once revered reverend who recently voiced his support for same-sex marriage has lost his church after two-thirds of his congregation recoiled from his decision.
Rev Oliver White, a pastor of 22 years at the Grace United Community Church of Christ in Saint Paul, Minnesota had a congregation of approximately 300 before he voted in support of equal marriage rights a few years ago.
After that vote at a United Church of Christ conference in Atlanta, Georgia it fell to just 125.
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Deserted: Rev Oliver White, a pastor of 22 years in St Paul has lost his church after two-thirds of his congregation disbanded following his vote for same-sex marriage
‘I knew so many gay and lesbian people as people and I couldn’t for 1,000 years imagine why they shouldn’t have the same privileges that heterosexuals have,’ Rev White told Fox9.
But the majority of his congregation turned on him and dwindling collections racked up over $170,000 in debt.
‘A lot of sermons were preached here. A lot of laughter, hugs, joy, sorrows. I’ve seen it all, but it’s time to move on. It’s no longer my home,’ he said.
Taking out a loan to keep their house of worship afloat those remaining members also set out on a campaign.
Walking out: The church in St Paul, Minnesota, had a congregation of approximately 300 before his vote was cast, dwindling it down to just 125
Their mission: 200,000 financial contributions, no matter how small, by the end of June.
‘When you stand up for what is right, no matter what it costs, in the end you get the greatest gift.’
– Rev Oliver White
‘Our church is facing closure and we need your help. In standing up for the oppressed, we have lost many of our congregation members. We believe that God loves everyone,’ the church’s website reads today.
Despite their efforts only $55,000 was collected while some wrote and sent in checks from across the country in support.
Result: Rev White says he’s looking for a new church and hope of curing thousands of debt after his members disbanded, but he’s hopeful and strong believing he made the right decision
Ultimately, however, he said there was a decision to make.
‘When you stand up for what is right, no matter what it costs, in the end you get the greatest gift,’ he told Fox9.
‘Now, he gets the church but I get freedom, and I would take that any day,’ the reverend said with a triumphant smile.
Rev White and his members continue to collect financial aid to repay their loans but are also working to find a new home.
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