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What Happened When My Gay Partner and I Went to a Bigoted Church and Confronted the Pastor

April 30, 2013 in Blogs

By SouthernDemRonFollow, Daily Kos

We talked for over 3 hours. Needless to say, we were unable to reach common ground.

Last week, someone who hardly ever shows up on my Facebook newsfeed actually DID, and it was Mark McKeel’s photo that caught my eye.  Not more than a mile from my own home, along Highway 707 in the rural Burgess-Socastee area outside Myrtle Beach, the Socastee Free Will Baptist Church posted the message you see on the accompanying photo.  At first, I thought maybe it was an old photo from years ago, just resurfacing.  Then I actually drove by the church later that day, and – to my shock – saw the message was, in fact, current. (photo of Church billboard above)

It occurred to me I HAD to attend this church.  First, I cannot express enough how much I loathe attending a church I’m not familiar with, as it is.  Secondly, walking into what could very well have been a lion’s den of hate and defiance and venom (at least that’s what ran through my mind leading up to actually going) had my better half (Ethan) and I anxious.

Because Ethan couldn’t be bothered to awake before 1pm Sunday (the bum), we decided we would attend the 6pm service.  We walked in, took our seats, were warmly greeted by a half dozen or so congregants and the church’s pastor, himself, Pastor Darren Squires.

Through most of the service, the topic on their marquee wasn’t a topic in the service; until (I’m guessing an understudy-in-training) Thomas weaved his sermon into that realm.  In all fairness, he’s new to the “calling,” so it can be understood that his sermon lacked a little focus and sort of wandered at times, and so I sort of lost  focus, myself, and cannot actually recall how he eventually got to the message that drew us in.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure how or when I was going to speak up; as the service wore on, I opted to wait for a one-on-one with Pastor Squires, and he obliged us – for three hours I might add – and we …read more


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