Bishop Rainey Cheeks Opens Church Door to HIV Positive Parishioners
But in the weeks since President Obama’s endorsement of same-s*x marriage, we’ve seen several black churches jump on the tolerance bandwagon. Followers. But some black churches have always expressed a great deal of tolerance, and are now getting the credit and recognition they deserve.
Inner Light Ministries, headed by Bishop Rainey Cheeks, first opened its doors to members of the LGBT community in 2009, and now welcomes HIV members as well.
Today a Washington Post column gave a little credit where credit is due, for what is sorely missing from some African-American churches:
At a time when there is increasing attention on the stubbornly high HIV infection rate in the African American community — with many pointing to the lack of action by many influential black churches — Cheeks is notable for using his pulpit to educate parishioners on the need to get tested for HIV. He is a vocal counterpoint to the ministers who, from the altar, condemn homosexuality.
From the article, which you can read here, it seems that Rainey’s church is small, which makes his act on behalf of HIV positive people even more courageous. It’s hard to do the right thing when you’re working to build something, much easier to follow a formula for success a la Mega-Churches. But doing your own thing takes talent and courage. It’s good that Rainey is doing this, and even better that WaPo is recognizing it. Kudos to both.
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