Gay couple had "second date" at COGIC convocation

As bizarre (or maybe not) as that sounds, a homosexual couple told Memphis Commercial Appeal writer Wendi Thomas, their second “date” was at the Church of God in Christ annual Holy Convocation. [Source]

“It’s not so much that the black church doesn’t want gay men, they don’t want openly gay men,” said Devon Berry, who is black and gay.

“They don’t want you in there being proud of who you are.”

Most traditional churches preach against homosexuality, but a 2006 Pew Research Center survey showed that black Protestants hold more conservative positions on the issue than white mainline Protestants.

Sixty percent of black Protestants say homosexuality can be changed, but just 22 percent of white Protestants said the same.

Berry, 22, was raised in traditional black churches, but no longer attends church. However, his boyfriend does — in fact, his boyfriend is the choir director at a local black church. The couple’s second date was at the 2008 Church of God in Christ’s annual convocation in Memphis. In fact, Berry said, every man he dated he has met through church.

Thomas, a gay rights advocate took issue with the current dont ask, dont tell policy of the black church which she decries as “a tangle of theology, hypocrisy and secrecy.” In cased you missed it, Thomas doesn’t say it, but strongly infers the “gay boyfriend” is a choir director at a local COGIC. That may not be news to anyone who reads this blog.

Thomas also derided black Memphis preachers (save one) who seemed to be running scared when asked questions about homosexuality and the church.

More than 10 pastors of large traditional black churches in Memphis were contacted repeatedly for comment, but almost all of the calls went unreturned, even calls to Rev. A.R. Williams, head of the megachurch World Overcomers, which spent a small fortune a few years ago on newspaper ads denouncing homosexuality.

Dr. Stacy Spencer, pastor of the popular and technologically progressive New Direction Christian Church, sent me this statement via Facebook: “Jesus always reached people through love not hate, whether they were lepers, hemorrhaging women. … He loved them while others condemned. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Spencer then quoted Romans 8:1: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Whether that means that gay people are welcomed, as is, at New Direction remains unclear.

Well, that lets us know their anointing only works on Sunday mornings when the amen corner is in place.

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6 thoughts on “Gay couple had "second date" at COGIC convocation

  1. saddening…..just saddening. i left the church i grew up in because of things just like this that were not addressed, alot of churchs just look over it like eventually the problem will fix itself.

  2. This is not news. In a denomination with over 6 million members and a number of churches too many to count, is it really news that they are some who choose to live a life of sin? They had a “second date” at a convocation.

    BEFORE MY ABOVE COMMENTS ARE DISSECTED, LET ME SAY THIS: Is homosexuality right? No. But its not like you are dealing with a church with only 35 members and you can monitor every person.

    I actually applaud the fact that this so called member doesn’t feel comfortable to lead an openly gay lifestyle in a COGIC church. But of course that doesn’t get magnified or reported.

    Before I get bashed for condoning homosexuality, which I’m sure someone on here will attempt to do, let me state that perversion on any level, homosexual in nature or not is wrong. Yet it is amazing when we only focus on the bad, and don’t recognize the good in these stories. Is it really possible that there is just a small chance that a COGIC related church actually is doing something positive in their teaching and standards, which is not allowing this gay man to come completely out? (sarcasm implied) Say it ain’t so!

    I’ll put my umbrella up now as I’m sure there will be a rainfall of criticism. God bless anyhow.

  3. COG, you said people dont recognize the “good” in these stories. Pray tell, what was “good” in the story? Please be specific. And keep in mind the SOURCE was the Commercial Appeal, not GCM Watch. What did you want Wendi Thomas to write about: that there are no homosexuals in COGIC??

    And could you explain why its not news?

  4. Dear GCMWATCH,

    To answer your questions in order:

    1. The good in the story was the fact that it was pointed out that it is not openly accepted in this particular reformation. This I noted in my first comment. To take a quote posted above,

    “They don’t want you in there being proud of who you are.” No one should be proud of sin. On top of that, iy takes gall and a complete lack of respect for God’s standards of holiness to openly live in sin as a Christian, let alone a leader.

    2. To answer your second question. I did not expect for Wendi Thomas to write that there is no homosexuality in COGIC, and I am not insinuating that either. Rather my premise is that to write that a random individual had a homosexual date arranged through a Church Conference of with thousands upon thousands of members is akin to me writing an article about someone coming to your church, and starting an improper relational, emotional and sexual relationship.

    The church is here to teach, correct and to be a beacon of light to the world. Light has no effect on light. Light is only illuminated in darkness. (Gen. 1) This is stating the obvious and hereby not news.

    Now if you can tell me that a person or a church leader is leading a openyly gay lifestyle, and a senior leader of a church or reformation does not address it in some form or fashion, thereby putting the rest of the flock at risk, then that is news.

    But for someone to report on this, thereby giving this man his fifteen minutes of fame by simply allowing him to broadcast his lifestyle withouth mentioning who his “boyfriend/significant other” is (the choir director at the COGIC church) is a stretch. As Americans and sad to say, even as Christians, many of us love gossip and headlines, but this is crazy.

    A REAL report would be of a Christian attempting to minister to Devon Berry. That would be news of a Christian doing his/her job. A testimony of him being converted from that lifestyle would be newsworthy, and a time to give God praise.

    And yes GCMWATCH, you are right, you were not the source, Wendi Thomas is. But when you reposted it with the headline you gave it on your website, you have indelliby put your signet of approval and endorsement. God Bless!

    GCMW: Apparently, you havent checked ALL THE STORIES we’ve posted about people being delivered from homosexuality. For some reason you ignored them. Why dont you take some time to read them and post something “positive” instead of focusing on what you perceive as negative? In other words, try a little of your own medicine.

  5. Dear GCMW,

    Pride comes before the fall. I didn’t say that you didn’t post other positive stories. I stated that those positive stories are newsworthy if you took the time to read my comment.

    YOU asked me why THIS STORY wasn’t newsworthy, and I told you. If you are going to be a credible source and host, don’t ask me a question about THIS article, and then to keep from acknowledging that I just might be right, you have to divert the topic to other articles.

    I notice that you are quick to give criticism, but can’t take it. Thats not good for a man of God.

  6. COG,

    Dont pat yourself on the back. You havent scored any coups nor uncovered any great mysteries. Basically this is your opinion, which youre entitled too, but it is little more than that. Take some time to read the more than 7,000 comments on this blog and you’ll see that.

    You see this as a something that shouldnt be aired, I see it as something that should be. Since its my blog, I go with the latter. And I allowed you to voice your “criticism” of my decision three times. How’s that for “taking it”? I could have very easily deleted your comment. You probably didnt notice that, huh?

    In perspective, that’s about the jist of it. And its fairly common on thousands of blogs and newspapers that allow story comments. People think something should or shouldnt be written about, bloggers and traditional news journalists think it should or shouldnt. And thus controversy is born. Its really not much more than that.

    Thanks for sharing your opinion. Now, if you dont mind, I’ll move on lest we devolve into ad absurdum.

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