Indiana: Church Loses 80 Percent Of Congregation After Pastor Gets Rid Of Choir Director For Being Gay
An overwhelming super majority of the First United Methodist Church's parishioners have abandoned the congregation in a move that restores much faith in humanity.
Adam Fraley worked at the Alexandria, Indiana church for more than six years as choir director and attended service regularly with his partner. Things changed last year when a xenophobic new pastor took over and immediately worked to get rid of Fraley.
Little did the new reverend know that bigots were in the minority at Alexandria's United Methodist. Former Lay Leader David Steele has come forward to claim that 80 percent of parishioners have left the church due to Mantor's homophobia.
Fraley, who took the job at the behest of David’s wife, Nancy Steele, six years ago, said he was not openly gay while working at the church. But his partner attended services with him and the Steele family said it was “obvious” Fraley was gay.
Regardless of his orientation, Fraley was the choral director for the church and everyone enjoyed his work. Then, earlier this year, a new minister came in who said he was uncomfortable with Fraley leading the music. Although the minister didn’t fire him, Fraley eventually resigned because of an added work load. He said he felt uncomfortable with the ways things had gone after the new minister came in.
After six months on the job, the church got a new interim minister, David Mantor, in September. Steele, who served as the intermediary between the congregation and the minister, said the church body hoped the new minister would allow Fraley to come back as choir director.
After originally saying he was fine with Fraley coming back, the Steeles said Mantor changed his mind three weeks after he was hired.
“It’s almost like he’s hijacked the church,” Steele, who has also been removed by leadership, said. “He is completely going against what the church body wants.”
Methodist doctrine does allow for the LGBT community to attend services, but prohibits openly-gay people from "serving" the church. Most of those who attended First United Methodist believe that ambiguous limitation refers solely to serving at the alter, and want Fraley reinstated as choir director.
(Via Raw Story)