GracePointe Church endorses equality

Timothy Kincaid

January 30th, 2015


GracePointe church in Franklin, TN, (a Nashville suburb) is an evangelical church with most of the beliefs of a typical evangelical in the South. It has a healthy sized congregation of 800 to 1,000 on Sundays and is best known as the church Carrie Underwood and her family attend.

They have long been somewhat supportive of gay congregants, but after three years of reflection the pastor has decided that “somewhat supportive” is not enough. (Time)

“Our position that these siblings of ours, other than heterosexual, our position that these our siblings cannot have the full privileges of membership, but only partial membership, has changed,” he said, as many in the congregation stood to their feet in applause, and other sat in silence. “Full privileges are extended now to you with the same expectations of faithfulness, sobriety, holiness, wholeness, fidelity, godliness, skill, and willingness. That is expected of all. Full membership means being able to serve in leadership and give all of your gifts and to receive all the sacraments; not only communion and baptism, but child dedication and marriage.”

This may be one of the first evangelical megachurch – at least in the South – that has taken this stand.

It can’t have been an easy decision and Pastor Stan Mitchell has to be aware that this is a divisional issue and attendance will drop. But hopefully others will be attracted by a message of inclusiveness.


January 30th, 2015

Interesting. As a hockey fan, I’d love to know how Carrie’s husband reacted (if they were there during that sermon. )

Timothy Kincaid

January 30th, 2015


Carrie has already come out in favor of marriage equality and credited her position to her faith. She didn’t mention her husband’s position.

Ben in Oakland

January 30th, 2015

Who woulda thunk?

Treat gay people the same as everyone else?

Who woulda thunk that a copy of the Big Gay Agenda was hand-delivered to Grace Church, when so many actual gay people have been whining and complaining about never receiving their copy, let alone their toaster oven?


January 30th, 2015

According to an article in Time [1], “When GracePointe began the listening process in 2012, Sunday attendance averaged 800-1000. The Sunday he preached the inclusion sermon, attendance was 673, and two weeks later, it was down to 482.”
Giving is reportedly down as well, as you’d expect with such a drop in attendance.



January 30th, 2015

(duh, that was the same article linked already; mea culpa…)

Sir Andrew

January 30th, 2015

Jesus must be rolling over in his grave right now. Oh, wait…


January 31st, 2015

Time to appoint Sister Carrie as Minister of Music—that’ll bring ’em back! ;-)

Thank you, GracePointe Church. Your empty pews are (as my mama used to say) “stars in your crown”.

“The arc of universe is long, but it bends towards justice”: MLKJr

Ben in oakland

January 31st, 2015

We’re all sinners, doncha know. but GAWD says you’re extra special double icky.

Thanks, Grace Pointe, for proving Christian benevolence and Christian hypocrisy.

Timothy Kincaid

January 31st, 2015


I don’t get your comment. As best I can tell, Grace Pointe said exactly the opposite.


January 31st, 2015

He’ll probably lose more members than he’ll gain, and that’s why you have to applaud his bravery.

Problem is that church attendance is going to start consolidating into the more traditional/conservative populations as the progressive members are usually just nominally Christian or non-practicing, and many who tend to secular values simply have no interest in church participation.

Ben in Oakland

January 31st, 2015

I was responding to LJ’s comment, and referring to the members, not the leadership.

MY lack of clarity can only be blamed on my husband getting me up at 6:00 am…

so I will.

Timothy Kincaid

January 31st, 2015

6:00 am on Saturday? Kick him!

(but not very hard and “accidentally”, of course)


January 31st, 2015

I wasn’t sure where Ben was coming from at first (other than Oakland, naturally), but that comment makes perfect sense directed at the former members who find us so icky that they can’t stand to stick around any longer.

And yes, 6:00 AM on a Saturday? FFS!

eddie moris

February 2nd, 2015

Ben in OK’s comment made perfect sense to me and I agree 100 % with it. Hypocrisy.

Richard Rush

February 2nd, 2015

A part of me feels that I should be thoroughly grateful, but another part of me has some difficulty moving beyond the arrogant sense of authority that perpetuated the denigration and discrimination for so many years. This difficulty extends toward most older people in society as a result of my “coming out”* during the summer of Stonewall in 1969 where gays were inundated by denigration and discrimination from every direction. (Today’s young people were not part of that.) As a result, I expect the true mindset of many people to be, “WE now grant you equality, but make no mistake, as the majority, WE retain the authority to snatch it away from you.”

*Remember, in those days, the term was largely limited to “coming out” to other gay people and becoming a part of the gay subculture.

Timothy Kincaid

February 2nd, 2015


By the time I came out in the 80’s, “coming out” was not a singular event. You came out to yourself, to another person, to limited friends, to newfound gay people, to family, to work, and on and on.

And even “out” is a tricky definition.

I have an Indonesian friend who is “not out” to his mother even though he lives with his partner. They pretended that one slept in the bedroom and the other on the couch, when she came to visit. She pretended to believe them.

Eric Payne

February 3rd, 2015

In the early 1990s, I came out in a letter to my parents that was also published as my first National Coming Out Day in some gay rags across the country.

It was written for the “Payneful Realities” column published in “Our Paper/Your Paper” out of San Jose, and sub-titled “Hearts and Chocolate and Flowers for my Birthday.”

The greatest compliments I’ve received for my writing in the letters I received from other gay men who cut the column out of their papers, and mailed it to their families.

Richard Rush

March 11th, 2015


I did not intend to imply that “coming out” didn’t involve a process for me. Roughly, there were three phases of the process:

• Phase-One occurred primarily in my head until I completed six years of college.
• Phase-Two was the GIANT LEAP into gay life during the summer of 1969, and never ever looking back.
• Phase-Three, which involved slowly opening the closet door farther to family/friends/co-workers/neighbors (who probably already suspected), didn’t really begin until the 1980s.

PS: I’ve been trying to post this comment since February 3rd, but BTB’s automated system refused to accept it. I’ve tried changing the wording in different ways, and also tried a double-spaced version. It has become a challenge to see if I could outsmart the system. So, if this version is accepted, I deserve to be congratulated.

Jim Burroway

March 11th, 2015

I don’t know why your comment went directly to spam. I was able to retrieve it, and found the other two in the process. I’ve also emptied the spam queue’s 10,000+ messages. Hope this helps.

Timothy Kincaid

March 11th, 2015

Congratulations, Richard!!

(Though we still have no idea why this thread didn’t like you).

Richard Rush

March 11th, 2015

No, no, Timothy, I don’t deserve to be congratulated . . . because, as it turned out, I did NOT outsmart the system. My comment only got posted because I finally gave up, and sent an email to Jim.

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