A Minnesota pastor who lost his church
after expressing support for gay marriage has found a new home.
The Reverend Oliver White of St. Paul
lost his Grace Community United Church of Christ in 2012, five years
after he voted in favor of a resolution supporting equal marriage
rights for gay and lesbian couples during a national synod of the
United Church of Christ.
The predominantly African-American
church's congregation plummeted to 70 from 320 within a month of his
vote, forcing White to place his building as collateral for a
high-interest loan. White lost the building to foreclosure in the
summer of 2012.
“Many times, I did ask, 'Why me?'”
White, 70, said of the hate mail he received. “I had nothing. No
money. No congregation. Who am I? My colleagues are building new
churches, have great choirs, get lots of amens. Wouldn't I love to
preach at a church like that? And the only thing that gave me
comfort was to think, 'If not me, then who?'”
After more than a year of ministerial
homelessness, White's remaining 10-member congregation was folded
into a separate church.
“The Rev. Lisa Bodenheim, a pastor of
Clark Memorial, proposed that her church and Grace Community combine
into one congregation, with she and Mr. White sharing pastoral
duties,” the Times reported.