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Some members of East Waynesville Baptist Church voted the nine members out at a recent scheduled deacon meeting, which turned into an impromptu business meeting, according to congregants.
Chan Chandler, pastor of East Waynesville, had been exhorting his congregation since October to support his political views or leave the church, said Selma Morris, a 30-year member of the church.
"He preached a sermon on abortion and homosexuality, then said if anyone there was planning on voting for John Kerry, they should leave," she said.
Valerie Thornton, a spokeswoman for the Internal Revenue Service, said she could not comment on the East Waynesville situation specifically, but noted that "in general if a church engages in partisan politics it could put their tax-exempt status in jeopardy."