Georgia Megachurch Pastor Comes Out Of Closet – For An Unselfish Reason

I admire Pastor Swilley for “coming out”.  Whatever his motive and whatever kept him closeted for so long is now irrelevant.  The fact that he has taken a stand and outed himself (as opposed to someone suing him for “improper behavior with teens…) and the fact that he wanted to help young gay kids in his congregation is honest and admirable.  In this age of political and religious pontification about “homosexuality being a curse”, this story, in my opinion is a refreshing one!  Kudos to Pastor Jim Swilley.


ROCKDALE COUNTY, Ga. — The pastor of a Rockdale County megachurch has publicly announced he is gay.   Jim Swilley, bishop of Conyers’ Church in the Now, said he hopes his coming out will change attitudes toward homosexuality.   “I know a lot of straight people think it is a choice. It is not,” Swilley told Channel 2’s Diana Davis.

Swilley, 52, founded the church 25 years ago. He seemed the stereotypical picture of a pastor, with four kids and a wife who doubled as his associate pastor. But Swilley said he’s known he was gay since he was little boy. He said his wife, Debye, also knew his secret from the start.

“I think some women marry gay men because they really think they can change them,” Swilley said.

The now-divorced couple kept their secret for 21 years, but earlier this year, Swilley said Debye told him it was time to stop living a lie. 

She said he should practice what he preaches and follow the church’s motto, “Real people experiencing a real God in the real world.” 

So, Swilley came out to his kids and his congregation. He said he knew he might risk everything, but the recent rash of gay teen suicides pushed him over the edge.  

“As a father, thinking about your 16, 17 year old killing themselves. I thought somebody needed to say something,” Swilley said through tears. 

He says he’s received support from many in his congregation, but at least one conservative Christian blog has called him sick, twisted, unclean and an instrument of the devil. 

“I know all the hateful stuff that’s being written about me online, whatever,” Swilley said. “To think about saving a teenager yeah, I’ll risk my reputation for that.”

h/t neonzx

Links to articles about Bishop Eddie Long

This post is for the many people looking for information around the web about Bishop Eddie Long, minister of New Birth Missionary Church, here in Atlanta.

I have decided to post links to all of the more credible news outlets and blogs that are running stories.  Some may not be to your liking, depending on which side of the fence you are on.   However, I tried to balance the articles into pros and cons.

I hope this helps:

Gallery: Bishop Eddie Long through the years   AJC 

DA: Bishop Long tried to have burglary charges dropped   AJC

Gallery: Bishop Eddie Long Sunday Service – Sunday 9-26-2010   AJC

Julian Bond Calls Bishop Eddie Long a ‘Raving Homophobe’   Black Voices

Accuser’s message for Bishop Eddie Long: ‘You are a monster’   CNN

Bishop Long’s ‘anointed’ path to power at New Birth   CNN

Bishop Long: Did you or didn’t you?  Jonathan L. Walton – CNN

Bishop Eddie Long | Young accuser says he loved pastor, now considers him ‘monster’   AJC

Jon Stewart To Terry Jones: Did God Tell You ‘Don’t Be A F—ing Idiot, Dude’? | TPMMuckraker

TPM Muckraker

Jon Stewart was incredulous that Florida pastor Terry Jones decided not to burn copies of the Koran because God supposedly told him not to. “Oh really,” Stewart said last night. “God’s telling you to stop? When God told you to do it originally, he hadn’t anticipated the backlash?

“I think you might be confusing ‘God’ with ‘everybody else in the world,'” he said.

Stewart continued: “Let me ask you this. When God told you not to burn the Koran, did it sound something like this: ‘Don’t be a fucking idiot, dude!’ Cause that’s not God. That’s everybody.”


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