The Reverend Oliver White of St. Paul,
Minnesota has lost his fight to keep his church after expressing
support for gay marriage.
White placed his Grace Community United
Church of Christ as collateral for a high-interest loan in 2007, two
years after he 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 national synod of the United Church
of Christ, the Pioneer
The predominantly African-American
church took out the $150,000 loan in April 2007 to pay its bills,
placing its building, which it owned, as collateral. Interest and
penalties began piling up as the church fell behind on its payments.
A settlement called for the church to
pay back $200,000 by June 30 or lose the building.
Gay marriage supporters throughout the
country chipped in $56,000 to go toward settlement of the debt.
The 69-year-old White said he planned
to find a new home for his church.
“Mentally, we're gone already,” he
said. “Physically, the building is just now holding our goods
until we can pack them up. Our goal is to find a new home within 30
During a recent interview with web show
host John Ong, White said that his church is not a “gay church”
but welcomes everyone.