Church Sees Significant Decline in Membership Following Same-Sex Marriage Decision

Amanda Casanova | Religion Today Contributing Writer | Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Church Sees Significant Decline in Membership Following Same-Sex Marriage Decision

Church Sees Significant Decline in Membership Following Same-Sex Marriage Decision


A Tennessee church that decided to conduct same-sex marriages is selling its campus and moving to a rented space after seeing a decline in attendance.

After Pastor Stan Mitchell of GracePointe Church in Franklin, Tennessee announced LGBT support in 2015, the church’s membership fell by half.

Members of the church’s Board of Elders also left the church, according to a 2015 article from the Nashville Scene.

The church membership at its height was around 2,000 people and attendance had been between 700 to 800 attendees. A recent visit counted about 240 attendees, according to an article at The Christian Post.

"The public embrace of LGBTQI people and same-sex relationships by Mitchell and GracePointe Church in 2015 has led to a major decline in attendance and revenue," Out & About Nashville reported in September. "The half-empty lot bears evidence of a minor exodus over two years of congregants."

GracePoint listed the 12,000-square foot chapel and 22 acre property in February for $7.5 million. After the listing price dropped, the property is under contract.

Mitchell said the drop in the congregation had led to financial concerns, and the sale of the church property should improve the church’s stability.

The church also cut many of its staff.

An article in Time had identified GracePointe as “one of the first evangelical megachurches in the country to openly stand for full equality and inclusion of the LGBTQ community.”

The church sells T-shirt that say, “Love is a Human Right.” Mitchell also participates in LGBT discussion panels, including one this month in Colorado.

 

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstockphotos.com

Publication date: November 14, 2017

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