The pastor of a massive Georgia church has come out, saying the recent rash of gay teen suicides made it impossible to continue living a lie.
Jim Swilley, 52, founded Rockdale County’s Church in the Now 25 years ago. His wife, Debye, was the associate pastor, and together they had four children. Swilley says he’s known that he’s gay since he was a boy, and his wife knew when they got married. Jim and Debye are now divorced, but they kept his secret for more than 21 years. Earlier this year, Swilley says, Debye told him she thought it was time he stop living a lie. Swilley says he decided she was right after reading stories about kids being harassed by antigay bullies and committing suicide.
The below news story notes that some Christian websites and blogs are condemning Swilley, calling him “sick, twisted, and a tool of Satan.”