There is an article in the Washington MetroWeekly about a gay-supportive African American minister that is leaving DC and going to a church in New York.

Alvin Jackson, who was a shining star in the Disciples of Christ church (pastor of flagship National City Christian Church and the demonination’s moderator) was involved in a scandal in 2003 relating to plagiarized sermons. Having admitted his mistakes, he will now be seeking a new start. He will be leaving DC to pastor the small Park Avenue Christian Church in Manhattan.

But what caught my attention was the following:

”The interesting thing for me, very moving, is that when [Jackson] was in Tennessee with what was at the time our largest congregation, he used to be homophobic,” says Keener, referring to Jackson’s time at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis. ”He used to preach that homosexuality was an abomination. He had an ex-gay ministry. So he knows the other side. He knows the mindset.”

That mindset changed for Jackson when a gay congregant’s spiritual questions prompted him to re-read the Bible and scrutinize his understanding of scripture.

”I admire him for that,” says Keener. ”He was able to have a change of heart. It gives you hope that some of these other ministers in D.C. will get a clue.”

This reminds us that those who seek reorientation – or even those who espouse it – are not always enemies. With an open mind, even the most homophobic of ministers can come to a change of heart.

I wish Jackson well in his quest to rebuild his ministry.

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