And God Save Judy Garland
One year before the Little Rock Nine bravely endured threats of violence and death to integrate Central High School, Randy Eddy-McCain was born in Arkansas. He grew up in a conservative Assemblies of God church where he fell in love with Jesus as a little boy. As Randy got older, he felt called by God to go into the ministry, but he had what religion taught him was a problem. He was attracted to men, not women. He hoped he might grow out of it. He prayed he’d grow out of it, but when that didn’t happen, he explored what it meant to be gay. Without an example of how a gay man could be a Christian, Randy moved back and forth between what seemed like two conflicting worlds. As a Christian he tried not to be gay, and as a gay man, he tried to ignore how much he still loved Jesus and wanted to minister to people in need. Turmoil turned to peace when Randy was able to embrace both his faith and his sexuality. He committed his life to the love of his life, Gary Eddy, 21 years ago, and for the past 20 years, he’s been the openly gay pastor of Open Door Community Church in Little Rock, Arkansas. Too many parents have hurt their children when they thought they were being faithful to their God. Too many LGBTQ kids have committed suicide because they were bullied and were taught that their sexuality made them an abomination to God. Too many men and women have left a faith tradition they really love because they were asked to leave until they could “stop” being gay. Randy Eddy-McCain’s life story demonstrates that a person’s faith in God can exist without being in conflict with his or her sexuality.
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