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MINNESOTA REVEREND LOSES CHURCH OVER SUPPORT OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
Published July 01, 2012 FoxNews.com
A Minnesota church is closing its doors for good, split over a reverend’s support of gay marriage.
Rev. Oliver White is looking for a new house of worship, after serving as pastor for 22 years of Grace United Community Church of Christ in Saint Paul, Minn., KMSP Fox 9 reports.
The congregation, which numbered about 300, dwindled to just 125 after White voted in support of same-sex marriage at a UCC conference in Atlanta a few years ago, according to the station.
"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, “ said Rev. White.
Church leaders took out a loan to keep the doors open, but the much smaller congregation fell behind in the high-interest payments, owing more than $170,000.
Regarding his vote in support of same-sex marriage, White told Fox 9: "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."
White's plight drew national attention and contributions from across the country, but he only raised about $55,000. Church leaders ultimately decided to put that money toward a new building instead of re-paying the loan.