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

fraleyA Methodist Church in Alexandria, IN has lost nearly 80 percent of its congregation over the ousting of a gay choral director, according to another family who was “relieved” of their official intermediary duties for expressing opposition.

Apparently these people have no qualms with the United Methodist Church law that bans LGBTs (ahem… “self-avowed practicing homosexuals”) from serving as ordained ministers, but are totally outraged when their beloved choral director is forced out.

Adam Fraley told The Herald Bulletin that he worked as the church’s choral director for six years, though he was “not openly gay” to the congregation. His partner attended services with him and according to friends David and Nancy Steele, it was “obvious” Fraley was gay.

Last year, Fraley resigned his position after feeling pressured by David Mantor, a new minister who was uncomfortable with a more or less openly gay man working at the church. According to Steele, the church has been “hijacked” by the new minister, who “is completely going against what the church body wants,” which is obvious by the reported 80% drop in attendance.

A week after Fraley left the church, Steele, who acts as the official intermediary between congregation and minister, personally met with Mantor to discuss re-hiring Fraley. He was promptly asked for his keys and “relieved of his duties.”

But who, exactly, in this situation has the power to hire and fire those working within the church? According to Dan Gangler, director of communications for the Indiana Conference of the UMC, “other leadership positions should be filled at the discretion of the congregation and the minister.”

For now, Fraley is attempting to get his job back by opening up to THB. “I don’t like how people pick and choose which verses they want to apply,” he said. “The Bible also says gluttony and divorce are bad but people seem to ignore those.”

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  • Scribe38

    So happy that director is receiving support from the congregation. It gives me hope things over time can change.

  • stadacona

    Here we go again….gay men shouldn’t work for churches. They are the enemy of all rational humans.

  • BBellairs

    Karl Marx said “religion is the opiate of the masses.” Couldn’t agree more.

  • that_dude247

    Poor church queens. They are a sad bunch.

  • Fitz

    Not my fight. I am not going to worry about someone who works for an anti gay organization and then finds out that they are anti gay. Spend your energy on more important things.

  • iMort

    That happened at my parents Methodist church, though no one mentioned “gay”. The music director moved on to a Lutheran church and the Methodist church, after ten years, never recovered! Christians think God wants them to be this way – wait until God tells them in the “afterlife” that he created us all gay! For me, church was creepy.

  • Derek Williams

    @Fitz: Don’t you think it’s better to be visible and take the fight to the front line? Were it not for this incident, he’d never have found out that 80% of the congregation supports him, nor would we, and what’s most relevant, nor would the hierarchy of this homophobic institution..

  • Ogre Magi

    @that_dude247: I find it hard to have much empathy with them

  • Kieran

    Methodists have “evolved” and are now okay with their members Divorcing—–something Jesus specifically warned against.

    Methodists still have a problem with homosexuality—–something Jesus never even mentions.

    Go figure.

  • Fitz

    @Derek Williams: no I don’t. I think he was an idiot for working for a homophobic organization and that his problems are self inflicted.

  • Alton

    @Derek Williams: Fair point, and I’ll even buy the argument that this particular church wasn’t especially anti-gay until the new pastor showed up, but I, personally, could never work for an organization that didn’t consider me exactly equal with everyone else.

  • Derek Williams

    Well that’s fairly obvious, and I certainly wouldn’t work for a church for those very reasons, however, but for this situation, the hierarchy of the church would never have known its congregation didn’t support its anti-homosexual teachings. Now they can’t be so confident. If their paying members start leaving in droves, then watch how quickly they have an epiphany that Jesus loves LGBT after all.

    This is something facing the Vatican, because over two thirds of Catholics don’t agree with its teachings against homosexuality, let alone birth control and divorce. Hence the questionnaire being sent round all parishes right now by Pope Francis.

  • dayglowjim

    Abandon religion, and live a more fulfilled and happy life.

  • LadyL

    I’m thinking this is a really good thing in disguise. Church-goers particularly need to confront what homophobia really is and what it does, and they’re often not inclined to do that until someone they know and like is actively harmed by it and the injustice is happening right in front of them.

  • 2eo

    @Fitz: I consider it my fight, any tool [and that is all I consider these people, as I have noted repeatedly] I can use to beat down religion I will take.

  • avesraggiana

    What is it with choir directing, competitive diving , cheerleading coaching and gay men? “He’s the choir director? Gay”, “He’s a competitive diver? Gay”. “He’s the cheerleading coach? Gay”.

    Oh, and here’s another one: “He’s a Navy foreign language translator? Gay”.

  • Doris Fontaine

    just as Eva explained I cant believe that someone can profit $8599 in one month on the internet. did you look at this web site… http://gg.gg/z5yv

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