Megachurch PastorJim Swilley Comes Out Of Closet

  • metta

    Posts: 39169

    Oct 31, 2010 5:08 AM GMT
    Megachurch Pastor Jim Swilley Comes Out Of Closet

    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/25568419/detail.html
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    Oct 31, 2010 5:48 AM GMT
    I found his reason for the timing to be interesting. The recent rash of teen suicides pushed him over the edge (to come out.)

    I suppose that it would be interesting to see how his church handles the revelation. Is this the first "mega-church" whose founder has come out?
  • metta

    Posts: 39169

    Oct 31, 2010 7:17 AM GMT
    News Video:

    http://www.wsbtv.com/video/25570047/index.html
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    Oct 31, 2010 1:49 PM GMT
    west77 saidI found his reason for the timing to be interesting. The recent rash of teen suicides pushed him over the edge (to come out.)

    I suppose that it would be interesting to see how his church handles the revelation. Is this the first "mega-church" whose founder has come out?


    To my knowledge, the first that did not involve a scandal of some kind.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Oct 31, 2010 1:57 PM GMT
    LOL ... No wonder

    His wife looks like a drag queen icon_cool.gif
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    Oct 31, 2010 2:05 PM GMT
    Good for him (and us).
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    Oct 31, 2010 2:14 PM GMT
    I wonder what he used to preach every Sunday?

    Ted Haggard is sleaezer.... eh I mean hotter icon_razz.gif
  • KissTheSky

    Posts: 1981

    Nov 01, 2010 1:00 AM GMT
    At last, a pastor comes out honestly and with integrity, rather than going through a Ted Haggert charade ("I sinned, but I prayed about it and now I'm cured/straight again!")
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    Nov 01, 2010 1:54 AM GMT
    KissTheSky saidAt last, a pastor comes out honestly and with integrity
    +1,000,000,000,000,000,infinity
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Nov 01, 2010 1:57 AM GMT
    njmeanwhile saidTo my knowledge, the first that did not involve a scandal of some kind.

    This.
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    Nov 01, 2010 2:10 AM GMT
    It's only really novel because the evangelical churches are not as far along the path of acceptance as some of their mainline brethren.

    We have allowed out gay clergy since the late '80s, but when we took the step of electing a gay bishop it was a man who had come to terms with his sexual orientation later in life after having been married and raised kids to adults. He parted amicably with his wife (they even created a personal kind of "sacrament" to mark the end of their marriage and remain great friends) and now lives openly and honestly with his partner of many years. He was elected bishop fairly and according to our rules in 2003, and it created a shitstorm of controversy from here to Africa that continues to this day. Interestingly, 7 years later a lesbian was elected bishop and it prompted only some mumbling from the Archbishop of Canterbury about an "obstacle to progress" ... somehow guys are more scary. Beware the dreaded gay penis monster! it will convert you! icon_eek.gif
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    Nov 01, 2010 2:44 AM GMT
    Awesome!
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    Nov 01, 2010 10:17 AM GMT
    One thing that caught my attention was that he was a bit leery of a mass exodus from his church... Why not fill the pews with Atlanta gays instead? There need to be more churches like his... if I were closer, I'd check it out.
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    Nov 02, 2010 12:07 AM GMT
    I think this is really fantastic.
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    Nov 02, 2010 12:09 AM GMT
    This may be the first 21st century miracle.
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    Nov 02, 2010 12:52 AM GMT
    Andreas73 saidOne thing that caught my attention was that he was a bit leery of a mass exodus from his church... Why not fill the pews with Atlanta gays instead? There need to be more churches like his... if I were closer, I'd check it out.


    This megachurch is in the far burbs of Atlanta so it won't be attracting the city's major gay population.

    This burb is known as particularly 'Redneck' but I'm not so sure that will mean the definite demise of his church. The rural South is a curious place and I have many gay friends in very small towns who feel no rejection from their hetero neighbors.
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    Nov 02, 2010 3:57 AM GMT
    I am unfamiliar with how megachurches, or evangelical churches in general, are structured. I see several references to him "losing his church". Do you mean that they would fire him or that people would leave? Do these pastors start these churches and then own them, or does the congregation own the property and hire/fire the minister?
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    Nov 02, 2010 4:53 PM GMT
    njmeanwhile saidI am unfamiliar with how megachurches, or evangelical churches in general, are structured. I see several references to him "losing his church". Do you mean that they would fire him or that people would leave? Do these pastors start these churches and then own them, or does the congregation own the property and hire/fire the minister?


    Megachurches are generally built around an incredibly charismatic pastor. The church will often fail if there is a change in the pastor's message. This is usually the case when the original pastor dies, retires or resigns (see the recent bankruptcy of Crystal Cathedral, which is credited towards the main pastor retiring and the fact that subsequent pastors could not maintain his charisma). In this case, it is unclear whether his homosexuality will drive his flock out the door and into another megachurch in the greater Atlanta metropolitan area, of which there are many.
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    Nov 02, 2010 4:58 PM GMT
    Wonderful! That takes an incredible amount of courage and strength, which is so refreshing to see since so many 'men of God' lately have been caught with their pants down or their luggage being lifted.
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    Nov 02, 2010 5:35 PM GMT
    travelfan said
    njmeanwhile saidI am unfamiliar with how megachurches, or evangelical churches in general, are structured. I see several references to him "losing his church". Do you mean that they would fire him or that people would leave? Do these pastors start these churches and then own them, or does the congregation own the property and hire/fire the minister?


    Megachurches are generally built around an incredibly charismatic pastor. The church will often fail if there is a change in the pastor's message. This is usually the case when the original pastor dies, retires or resigns (see the recent bankruptcy of Crystal Cathedral, which is credited towards the main pastor retiring and the fact that subsequent pastors could not maintain his charisma). In this case, it is unclear whether his homosexuality will drive his flock out the door and into another megachurch in the greater Atlanta metropolitan area, of which there are many.


    Wow that must be a disaster when you have a large physical plant which then has to be liquidated, and also very uprooting for many people. Our process of calling a new rector is disruptive and annoying and often results in some churn of parishioners, but we try to maintain the stance that "the people are the church" and set the tone of what the church's general message is. We spend a long time figuring out "who are we now?" summarizing that into a profile for possible candidates to read, then spend a long time vetting new prospects to make sure they will fit.

    We're currently in our second year of the search process, hoping to start interviewing candidates soon. We've been lucky not to lose many people (in fact our #s are up) because we have a steady supply priest who provides some stability without trying to take over.
  • rioriz

    Posts: 1056

    Nov 02, 2010 5:51 PM GMT
    This is good news in knowing that he is willing to stand up for who he is. I actually have seen him pastor a few times and he is a very charismatic and genuine person. I could not imagine what he is/was going trhough inside with the pressure of knowing the impact this could have on his family/church. Hopefully this gives others the courage to come out.