Woman says she was kicked out of her longtime Oshawa church for being gay
CTV News Toronto
Published Wednesday, November 7, 2018 9:56AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, November 8, 2018 2:11PM EST
An Ontario woman is speaking out against her now-former church over what she’s calling an archaic response to her being gay.
Kimberley Mills has been a devout congregant of Calvary Baptist Church for more than three years.
Mills said she always knew coming out to her congregation would be difficult, having heard sermons where homosexuality was blatantly condemned.
“I knew by sharing that I was in a relationship with a woman would be something that was not accepted,” she told CTV News Toronto on Tuesday.
“I happily shared when I was ready.”
The church’s response, however, was something she was unprepared for.
In a letter sent by registered mail, Mills was informed that she was no longer a member of Calvary Baptist Church, effective immediately.
“It was brought to our attention that you have chosen to live in disobedience to the scriptures,” the letter, signed by Deacon Chairman Dr. Tim Wagner, reads.
“Kim, we are exercising our responsibilities to follow the biblical instructions toward the goal of your repentance and full restoration to walk with Christ and his church fellowship.”
The letter references several bible verses, including Corinthians 6:9.
According to Biblia.com, the verse reads: “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexually.”
Mills said the letter left her in shock.
“My first reaction was kind of shock, then it went into hurt and then it went into needing to say something about this,” she said.
Mills did exactly that, posting the letter in full on Facebook.
Her partner, Meghan Fowler, said the response was overwhelming.
“We have gotten so much love and support, more than anyone could ever ask for,” she said. “It was wonderful to see.”
The couple has found another church, but says they hope their story shines a light on how intolerance can impact the lives of other people.
“The (new) reverend basically said, ‘Come as you are. We love you for who you are. God has designed you that way and you don’t have to change to be a part of our church family.’ That’s what I think Christianity is all about,” she said.
“This is a bigger issue than just this letter. This is an ongoing issue people are fighting for. I don’t believe it’s right. God teaches us about love, acceptance and not judgement. This is exactly the opposite of that.”
CTV News Toronto reached out to church officials but they declined to comment.
Read the letter in full below:
With files from CTV News Toronto's Zuraidah Alman