An Open Letter from a Gay Christian Pastor to My Non-Gay Colleagues in Ministry

In 1995 I was fired from my position as Minister of Music and Assistant to the Pastor at a Cumberland Presbyterian Church. The reason for my dismissal? Being gay and in a loving committed relationship with my spouse, Gary Eddy. The pastor of the church knew about our relationship and had even attended our wedding. He promised to stand with me when I decided to come out to the elders of the church. Yet when push came to shove, he became distant and did not fight for me. A member of the national headquarters for the Cumberland Presbyterian Church begged me to resign and not put the church through the agony of firing me. He confessed that he did not think my loving committed relationship was a sin but that a trial before the elders would most likely cause irreparable damage to the church. “Randy it is not the time for this battle to be fought.” “So when will it be time?” I asked. “You sir may not get the calls I do from precious young people who are gay and have become suicidal because the church, the last place they felt they could run to for safety, turned them away. Perhaps you have not dealt with the pain of knowing about the ones who didn’t call and did succeed with ending their lives. When will it be time for the church to deal with this?” My pleas did nothing to change his mind. He attended the meeting where the elders were gathered to vote on keeping me or firing me. He addressed the elders “I want to say that I know there is a lot of love for Randy in this church. I know his ministry has been appreciated by many of the members. I have experienced his sincere