HEAVY HAND OF GOD

Church That Fired Gay Music Director Is Closing Its Doors For Good

Screen shot 2014-12-17 at 12.13.05 PMThe First United Methodist Church in Alexandria, IN has fallen on hard times.

Last year, it made headlines for firing its music director, Adam Fraley, after learning he was gay. As a result, members of the congregation left in droves. Now, Pastor David Mantor says the church will be closing its doors for good at the end of the year, but he insists that it has nothing to do with the Fraley firing incident, the Herald Bulletin reports.

“This closure is not due to that situation whatsoever,” he said.

Instead, he claims falling attendance, membership and financing problems are to blame.

“This is a problem that’s going on everywhere,” he said. “And that’s why we’re closing.”

The church has been steadily losing members over the past year. Dr. David Steele, a former member and lay leader for the church, said it lost around 80 percent of the congregation after Fraley was fired for being gay.

“I think this is hurtful for all of us who were involved in that church,” Steele said. “I grew up in that church. We had a very tight-knit congregation.”

According to Mantor, only 20 or 30 of the once 700 parishioners remain. But come December 31, they will need to find a new place to worship.

Related stories:

Indiana Church Divided After New Minister Fires Gay Man, Straight Supporters

Methodist Minister Shares Journey As Transgender Man With Congregation

Pastor Who Was Defrocked For Officiating Gay Son’s Wedding Is Officially “Re-Frocked”

Graham Gremore is a columnist and contributor for Queerty and Life of the Law. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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33 Comments

  • Ladbrook

    HaHaHa.

  • Ron Jackson

    LOL. Delusion and Ignorance joined together in symbiosis and beget religion.

  • Harley

    “he claims falling attendance, membership and financing problems are to blame”. But yet he doesn’t understand WHY he has falling attendance, membership and financing problems are to blame. This minister must be the most ignorant one around. I would love for the church to reopen as a gay church. MCC, you got a new property now, good price.

  • Paul Nadolski

    Good. The more antigay churches close their doors the better!

  • bjohnmasters

    I happen to be a Methodist, and the Minister’s explanation is the biggest bunch of BS I think I’ve heard in a long time. He is correct, that the overall trend in the U.S. for the Methodist Church has been a decline in membership, as it has been for most Christian denominations. That doesn’t, however, mean there are not churches which are holding their own or even growing. If you follow his logic, apparently all Methodist Churches will be closing shortly.

    You don’t have 80% of your membership pick up and leave within the course of a month or so based on statistical trends…they left because of this firing, not because they no longer wanted to be part of a church. I’d bet 80% of that 80% (if not more) are still attending a church, and likely a Methodist church. How would Pastor Pants on Fire here explain that?

  • Leonard Woodrow

    God moves in mysterious ways!

  • Trippy

    Oh wow. He must have been one hell of a music director! Hopefully he landed at a more inclusive church and all of those non-churchgoing churchgoers are now sitting comfortably in their new pews and still enjoying his work and talent.

  • blondeboyz

    Denial, denial, denial. Sad delusional preacher! Although he is correct in stating that churches across the country are losing membership. You can’t preach love, kindness, forgiveness and exhibit hate, condemnation, aggression at the same time. People tend to catch on to your hypocrisy!

  • ShowMeGuy

    I hope an “old queer” buys the place and converts it into fabulous loft apartments. THAT would be some poetic justice.

  • Ronbo

    I would say that their chickens have come home to roost; but, they appear to have fled the bigot. Good. Pastor Mantor may not learn; but, his congregation has. They need to bring him into the 21st century.

    Or not. I understand that the Salvation Army of Bigotry is hiring bell-ringers. That is within his wheelhouse.

  • rmthunter

    News flash for Pastor Mantor: Actions have consequences.

    And of course this had nothing to do with firing your music director. Except that you lost 80% of your congregation because of it.

  • Mack

    @ShowMeGuy: Better yet, a gay bar.

  • Charlie in Charge

    Good to see the Methodists in this congregation stand up for what is right.

  • Dakotahgeo

    Our Lady of Perpetual Stupidity, Pastor Mantor! What a dolt!

  • jwtraveler

    @ShowMeGuy: @Mack: Better yet, a shelter for homeless gay youth. Do something for people who need it.

  • jwtraveler

    One church down, 100,000 to go. [For all you obsessive fact-checkers, that’s a wild guess. I have no idea how any churches there are in the U.S. I just know it’s far too many.]

  • Bad Ass Biker

    Mack and ShowMeGuy, they could always make it into a bar and call it The Leviticus Lounge.

  • Alan down in Florida

    As so ye shall reap so shall you sow.

    In other words, PAYBACK IS A BITCH.

    • Dakotahgeo

      @Alan down in Florida: I think you might want to check your Scripture quote again… What you sow, so shall you reap! Unnngh!!!

  • o.codone

    while gays are busy hating christians, the gay haters are sneaking up behind us. that will be a battle we do not win. count the days brothers until you forget about christian hating and run for your lives from the religion of peace. it’s coming. watch your backs.

  • mgkbus

    @o.codone: WTF?

  • Trippy

    @mgkbus: He’s referring to Islam. They don’t tend to hire lawyers to fight gay marriage rights in court… they just kill you.

  • SammySeattle

    @o.codone: “hating christians” is the battle cry of hateful christians.

  • Saint Law

    @o.codone: I’ve no interest in your sectarian dispute with Islam; however, in the interests of balance it ought to be pointed out that the recent wave of homophobic persecution through out Africa and Eastern Europe is overwhelmingly Christian led.

  • martinbakman

    They’ll probably stick Pastor Mantor at some out of the way (even more out of the way than Alexandria, IN) church where few will give a rats azz. Perhaps somewhere in south Alabama or Texas would be a good fit for his next congregation.

  • jwtraveler

    @o.codone: Are you high on oxycodone?

  • NoCagada

    @o.codone: Evidently, your name is short for OXYCOCDONE and evidently, you have been taking WAY TOO MUCH OF IT!

  • onthemark

    @blondeboyz: “Sad delusional preacher! Although he is correct in stating that churches across the country are losing membership.”

    In this case, I bet that most or all of the other Methodist churches in that area actually gained members who left THIS congregation.

    For many years, the Methodist church has tried a straddle-the-fence attitude on gay issues that obviously pleases no one. But they’re too liberal to become a “fundy” church so that’s not really an option. This incident may finally push them off the fence, and at least make them realize where the money is in the long term.

  • GayEGO

    Tee-hee! The truth is evident as these religious leaders dig their heels in and bury themselves! Their discrimination against us is causing them to lose. The Westboro Baptist Church is stumbling and falling as well.

  • jcimasi

    Live by the sword, die by the sword. Bigotry and hate eventually comes home to roost.

  • o.codone

    The middle east fanatics are looking for us. it’s clear what they want to do to us gay people. they want us to bleed. they are already making it happen in syria, and recently in egypt. i’m afraid! and i am sorry for our gay brothers who are already their victims. it’s time to get smart gentlemen, focus, get help with our denial, and get out of the silly little fights we have been in with “religious” pastors and the catholic church. we have much bigger battles to fight, and the time to start is now. we cannot let the fanatics annihilate, torture, imprison and defame us. focus. who is the enemy?

  • transiteer

    “falling attendance, membership and financing problems” are the result of acting in a hateful, scornful, uncharitable, ignorant, stupid, unchristian way towards others. You fired your music director because he was gay, and the congregation (to their credit) have fired you and the church and forced the closure of your hateful institution. I hope all the other hateful institutions follow suit, very soon. Seig Heil you fake.

  • Damich

    Good. Too many hateful churches anyway. The vessel to God and enlightenment are within anyway not inside some building.

Comments are closed.