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gay-church-thumb-400xauto-13971.jpgKevin E. Taylor found a passion for church almost as early as he discovered an attraction to boys.
Unity Fellowship Church Movement’s 2010 Convocation in Los Angeles.

Baptized at 10-years-old at a small Baptist Church in the Southwest section of Washington D.C., he fondly remembers the congregation’s blind, piano-playing pastor, who preached about God’s love with the fervor of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. He said it never crossed his young mind that his sexual orientation and his Christian faith would one day come into conflict.
But when Taylor turned 17, his beloved pastor died, and a new reverend–with a new message–took the pulpit. “It was the first time I heard God and hate in the same sentence,” Taylor said about the new pastor’s fiery rants. “I could not wrap my young mind around why the same God who created and loved everybody now hated so many people.”

Taylor stuck it out until the situation finally came to a head. “One Sunday, he turned the rifle on me — on gay people,” he said. “I remember when he started up, I looked at my mother. She turned to me and knowingly said, ‘Bye, baby.’ And I walked out of the church.”
Taylor would eventually return — but this time as a pastor at his own congregation, where he teaches a radically different message about sexuality. He represents a growing number of black LGBT Christians who, turned off by the anti-gay messages of conservative pastors like Bishop Eddie Long, have walked out of mainstream black churches and into the pews of progressive black congregations that accept them as they are.
Today, Taylor is the founding pastor of the progressive, predominantly black Unity Fellowship Church of New Brunswick. Beginning as a seven-person bible study in a friend’s Teaneck, NJ living room, the congregation now has its own sanctuary in New Brunswick and lists 150 people on its rolls. The primarily LGBT parishioners come to take part in a culture that not only accepts their homosexuality, but celebrates it as part of God’s design.
Taylor’s institution is far from an anomaly. Just up the turnpike in Newark, openly lesbian Rev. Janyce L. Jackson presides over Liberation in Truth Unity Fellowship Church. Across the Hudson, a similar gay-friendly sanctuary stands in Brooklyn.
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SOURCE: The Grio
Gerry Christopher Johnson