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A reverend who lost his church after supporting same-sex marriage is back with a program to provide safe spaces for the LGBT community.
In 2012, Reverend Oliver White lost two thirds of his congregation, and then his church, for supporting marriage equality. His congregation members told him that they wouldn’t belong to a church that supports same-sex marriage. Reverend White received letters telling him to renounce his support for same-sex marriage, and even death threats, but he stood firm in his beliefs.
“I knew so many gay and lesbian people as people, and I couldn’t for a 1,000 years imagine why they shouldn’t have the same privileges that heterosexuals have,” Reverend White said.
Reverend White founded an LGBT inclusive church, and he’s still preaching acceptance and inclusivity, but now he’s making it his mission to spread his message beyond his church. He wants to help other churches open their doors to the LGBT community.
Reverend White launched a crowdfunding campaign on Rally.org to turn his dreams into a reality. He
wants to launch programs local to his church relating to youth, employment, senior citizens, food, clothing, the homeless and the LGBT community, and he wants to expand his LGBT Program, Churches for Safe Spaces, similar to the Safe Spaces Campaign in schools, beyond his church.
“We need funding to develop outreach. We need funding to develop a safe place for the gay and lesbian community. We want to become a network so that we can begin to work together and spread this message, spread our work to other churches that are interested in doing the same thing,” Reverend White said.
Through Rally.org, Reverend White has raised close to $24,000 out of the $125,000 goal. He needs your help to hire program directors and to purchase resources to launch these programs and to spread his message of inclusivity across churches throughout the country.