It didn't have the same headline-generating effect that a certain political figure's recent evolution had. But back in 2005 another African-American came out in strong support of marriage equality and it got some attention -- at least within his congregation. When Reverend Oliver White of the Grace Community United Church of Christ cast his vote at the United Chruch of Christ's national synod in favor of same-sex marriage, there was, so to speak, hell to pay.
((The)) resolution in favor of gay marriage passed the synod, but after he explained his decision to his skeptical flock that Sunday, he saw attendance in the pews drop off immediately the next week.
The trickle of departures became a flood, and soon nearly three-fourths of the congregation had walked out the door and refused to return.
These days, his spirited sermons may draw 18 to 50 members, but White still has not stopped advocating for gay equality.
Unsurprisingly, financial problems piled up, and like many in a similar position the Church sought immediate funds from what I take to be an equity loan.
...the church took out a $150,000 loan in April 2007 with Direct Lending, and has regretted it ever since. Direct Lending later sold the note, which initially carried a 13.5 percent interest rate, to Seattle-area property manager Fenn Shrader, according to court records.Things became desperate a couple of months ago, when a short-term miracle occurred. (Watch a video which won't embed, where Reverend White and parishoners talk about the situation).
White maintains the interest rate has since ballooned to 23 percent.
In February, a predominantly gay congregation in Dallas, the Cathedral of Hope United Church of Christ, surprised White with a gift of $15,000.That was three months ago. Today Robin McGehee, founder of GetEqual, retweeted
Robin McGehee @speechadviceThe article I've been quoting describes the Reverend's last, desperate 'Hail Mary'
RT @fakedansavage: MN church on verge of foreclosure after #MarriageEquality support, Pastor needs help, can u spare $1 http://www.twincities.com/...
The Rev. Oliver White is making one last effort to save his East Side church from foreclosure, and it's a long shot.Could President Obama's statement two days ago in support of same-sex marriage be the catalyst that produces a long-term miracle for the Reverend and his Church? If the President can "come out" in support of marriage equality, perhaps his supporters can find a way to support others who have done likewise? Only one way to find out, and that's to spread the meme far and wide as best we can.
He's asking 200,000 members of the public to each mail $1 to Grace Community United Church of Christ $1 apiece by June...
"They need to come up with $175,000 this month to buy back the loan, or ask for an extension..."
I can't find any other way to donate to the Church, so here's the address.
Grace Community United Church Of Christ
986 Forest St
Saint Paul, MN,55106
It's nice to know that if you do choose to give, the money won't flow into some kind of attack ad against the LGBT community. Rather
The main focuses of this ministry are homelessness, at-risk youth, and families living at or below the poverty level.I can deal with that, even as someone with no love of religious institutions.
Make out the check to 'Grace Community United Church of Christ.'
Personally, I think it would be kind of silly to use a $0.45 stamp to send in a donation of $1.00. I'd recommend at least $5.00 to cut down on the vig. That way, the Reverend would only need 40,000 people to send in a donation...
And spread the meme.