Monday, September 19, 2005

Serving Gays Who Serve God

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An article from The New York Times:
This spring, Brenda Oliver, depressed and desperate for spiritual sustenance, visited the church near her home in Bushwick, Brooklyn. She lasted until the minister started talking about the men of Sodom who demanded that Lot let them have sex with his houseguests. He looked straight at Ms. Oliver, a sturdy, dreadlocked woman dressed in her customary long pants and black work boots. "The preacher said that if a bunch of gays went to his house, he'd start shooting and killing them," recalled Ms. Oliver, who is a lesbian. She walked outside, leaned on the church gate and cried. Months later, on a humid Sunday morning, as an organ's sweet gospel music drifted out onto a grim stretch of Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn from a different kind of church, called Unity Fellowship, Ms. Oliver sat in her van, nervously eating a breakfast of bacon and grits. In a few minutes, she would go inside to be baptized. The senior pastor at Unity, the Rev. Jeffery A. Haskins, is different, too. He channels the rolling, ever-cresting flow of an archetypal black Baptist preacher. But when he thunders about the AIDS sores on the back of his head, or how at another church, "I had to call on the name of Jesus when they talked about me, saying the little fairy faggot can't preach up in here," his congregation can relate in ways that most might not.
To read the full article click here A slide show and other pictures are available on the official New York Times article.