This Historic Raleigh church has been supporting LGBT equality since the 1950s

RALEIGH-Founded in the late 1800s, the Pouren Memorial Baptist was one of the first churches to accept LGBT rights in Raleigh, North Carolina.

In the 1950s, Rev. William Wallace defended civil rights, women’s rights, and gay rights.

Nancy Petty is a symbol of his heritage.

In 2002, after ten years of ministerial and quasi-leading roles, Petty became the first female and lesbian minister to lead this 500-member historic church.

“It was a real moment of blessing and affirmation, and at the same time it was almost unrealistic. For example, is this really happening?” Said Rev. Petty.

It was a progressive decision-created over the years.

In the early 90’s, same-sex couples Kevin Turner and Stephen Churchill (both members) asked the church to congratulate their devoted union.

“I think this was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made,” said Steve Smith, a member of Pullen since the 1970s.

Steve Smith, a longtime member, recalls that Paulen’s then minister, Mahan Siler, prayed for it, endorsed the idea, and left the decision to the church.

About 90% of members are more comprehensive, and two-thirds voted to approve same-sex blessings, Smith said.

The fallout was astounding. It was the height of the AIDS epidemic, with larger societies demonizing and stereotyping homosexuals.

ABC11 found a paid ad in Raleigh News & Observer on August 16, 1987, citing the Bible’s scriptures for homosexuality.

“We were picketed. We were kicked out of local, state and national Baptist associations,” Smith said. “Kicking out the congregation to determine faith is as non-Baptist as you can. We have new members. Gays, lesbians, and people like my wife and me are family members. Wanted to grow in a community like this. “

That’s why he led Dave Parnell and Jeff Evans to Poolen in the mid-’90s.

Parnell read, welcomed, and affirmed N & O’s editorial from Rev. Siler.

In February 2004, the couple celebrated the holy union at the church here.

“It was the greatest blessing we could have imagined,” Parnell said.

“It’s hard or hard for us to talk without choking, because we didn’t expect it to happen,” Evans added. “Fear. Fear. The wounds we have experienced for over 20 years are what young people do not know. People called us metamorphosis.”

Fast forward to today.Standing from a church sermon this summer, North Carolina’s first Black Vice Governor Mark Robinson receiving praise and public backlashHis stance on LGBT books in public schools, including the White House.

“There’s no reason to talk to kids about transgender, homosexuality, and their filth anywhere in America. Yes, I called it filth,” he said.

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Rev. Petty says Robinson’s comments offend her.

“Our transgender brothers, our youth are there, and now they need our voice as strongly as I need, and Jeff and Dave have been for 30 years. I needed it before, “Petty said. “The work goes on, and we have to be about that work.”

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This Historic Raleigh church has been supporting LGBT equality since the 1950s Source link This Historic Raleigh church has been supporting LGBT equality since the 1950s

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