Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert (shown above) has issued a statement in response to criticism from some in the LGBT community, including myself, about his recent decision to join First Baptist Church of Dallas. Leppert previously was a member of Park Cities Baptist Church, which reportedly is among the more socially progressive Southern Baptist congregations. First Baptist has a long anti-gay history and is currently led by the Rev. Robert Jeffress, one of the most prominent anti-gay voices in North Texas. Below is the mayor’s statement, sent over this afternoon by Chris Heinbaugh, Leppert’s openly gay chief of staff. Leppert declined a request for an interview.
“During my time as Mayor I have made a point of reaching out to and including all communities in our diverse City and I am very proud of my record.
“Where my family attends church is a personal matter and one that is entered into prayerfully. My tenure as Mayor should be judged by MY actions, the tone that I have set for the City and a sincere concern for those less fortunate. I will always strive to serve with a humble heart.”