Supporting gay marriage has brought
Rev. Oliver White's St. Paul, Minnesota church to the brink of
The 69-year-old White lost nearly
two-thirds of his congregation immediately after he joined a majority
of delegates from across the country in voting in favor of a
resolution supporting equal marriage rights for gay and lesbian
couples during a 2005 national synod of the United Church of Christ
in Atlanta, the St.
Paul Pioneer Press reported.
He now faces uncertainty with a
high-interest $200,000 collateral loan coming due by June 30.
But White, who ministers at Grace
Community United Church of Christ, a predominantly
African-American church, is finding support on the Internet.
“We have $13,000 that we are ready to
deposit that came in by way of mail so far,” said White on
Wednesday. “So we're at about 20 percent.”
On the church's website, White asks
supporters to donate
“a small amount” each.
“I haven't allowed any of this to
make me stop, because I feel that I have to continue in this journey,”
he said. “But it's also a monumental task.”
During a recent interview with web show
host John Ong, White said that his church is not a “gay church”
but welcomes everyone.
“If we are not successful, I am not
going to feel that we are defeated,” White said on the podcast.
“I've often said if one person has been turned around, if their
thinking has been turned around, and they are no longer homophobic,
and they can reach out and love their brothers and their sisters as
they love themselves, unconditionally, without labeling them in any
way, then losing the church will not be in vain.”