Buelah Heights University is probably Atlanta’s second most popular theology school for black folk behind the Interdenominational Theological Center. While ITC has a rather nefarious reputation for homosexuals in teaching positions and student body, Buelah is supposed to be a cut above the rest when it comes to holding fast to sound doctrine and biblical standards. Beulah Heights Bible College was founded in 1918 and is the Southeast’s oldest Bible College.
So why does the school have on faculty a minister who signed onto a controversial gay christian rights letter ?
The dominant views on sex, sexuality and gender in the Black Church are undermining community, diminishing the faith and leading many to abandon churches out of sheer moral frustration and exhaustion. Our churches have been slow to embrace gender equality. They have largely spoken only opposition and condemnation to same gender loving people and have been unable to proclaim a sexually liberating and redemptive word. Some black churches have concluded it is in their best institutional interest to participate in “special rights” polemics against this so-called “immoral humanity.” As black clergy we offer here a more hope-filled perspective.
According to his website, Dr. Lewis Tait, Sr. is an adjunct professor at the Interdenominational Theological Center and at Beulah Heights Bible College in Atlanta, Georgia in the Urban Leadership Department and General Studies Department. ”
GCM Watch contacted Dr. Tait (left), but neither he nor his wife Lisa, the co-pastor of Imani Christian Center were happy about our requests for clarifications. We wanted to know why Dr. Tait signed the letter and if he still advocated homosexual rights as an instructor at a Christian Bible College. Tait is a former member of the United Church of Christ, the first Christian demonination to openly ordain gay christians. The UCC is also home to Jeremiah Wright and lesbian bishop Yvette Flunder.
Calling the quote above “a sound bite taken out of a long and detailed letter”, Dr. Lisa Tait responded, “We both respectfully decline to make a statement now or in the future.”
Sarah Matthews, a media representative at Beulah Heights, told GCM Watch she was fairly new to her position but that they would look into it. According to the school’s website, all faculty are required to sign its statement of faith indicating agreement. The school requires “Any attending student who finds his or her doctrine not in agreement with that of the College is requested to refrain from promulgating those doctrinal differences while on the campus of Beulah Heights University, in order to avoid strife within the body of believers.”
The statement does not address any issues of sexual conduct or errant beliefs about sexual expression. Its also unclear as to whether this requirement applies to faculty like Lewis Tait.
Buelah Heights University
Dr. Benson M. Karanja, President
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