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.”