Presbyterian Church Ordains First Gay Man as Minister

As I noted last week, the Presbyterian Church ordained its first openly gay minister on Saturday in Madison, Wisconsin, reports:

Anderson “To the thousands of Presbyterians who have worked and prayed for almost 40 years for this day, I give thanks,” Anderson, 56, told the 325 people gathered to witness his ordination at Covenant Presbyterian Church on Madison’s West Side. “And I give thanks for those who disagree with what we’re doing today yet who know that we are one in Jesus Christ.”

The ordination — two emotion-filled hours — capped a lengthy, difficult journey for the denomination and for Anderson, a largely private person thrust into the national spotlight.


Reuters reports:

Scott Anderson, 56, was ordained minister at the Covenant Presbyterian Church in front of a jubilant congregation…

…Anderson, who years ago had been rejected by members of his congregation at the Bethany Presbyterian Church in Sacramento, California, left the ministry in 1990. He has been with his partner, Ian MacAllister, for 20 years.

…Since leaving the ministry, Anderson had remained active in the church. He began the process of returning to the ministry five years ago. The Presbyterian Church in July changed its constitution to allow openly gay and lesbian ministers.

"It just so happened that I was the first in line, I didn't intend to be the first," Anderson said. "What a great privilege and honor and humbling to be the first."

Anderson's ordination brought protest from the Westboro Baptist Church, the Badger Herald reports.

The Presbyterian Church USA lifted its ban on gay and lesbian clergy three months ago.