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November 14th, 2010
02:48 PM ET

Megachurch Pastor: I'm Gay

It is a secret that Pastor Jim Swilley has been holding onto his entire life, and one recent Sunday, he finally decided to share it with the congregation he's led for the past 25 years in Conyers, Georgia. Swilley stood before a large crowd at Church In The Now and told them all that he's gay. The pastor, who's been married twice and has four children, shares his reasons with CNN's Don Lemon in an emotional interview.

Filed under: Don Lemon
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. joyce

    Thank you Don for your interview -
    I think as a christian this man should have had to have a minister there to ask confronting questions from the word of God to him - not just let him make statements with you and with Joy on her show as well.
    it was just this guys words unfair!!!
    it was very upset that he can just get up there and cut down the truths from the bible and arrange in a way that suits him and works for his lifestyle.

    thank you for listening

    November 14, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  2. patrick butler

    Speaking as a professor this question about parents getting unfair advantages at work because of their children is hotly debated in class. But my response has been...think who is responsible for raising the next generation for the labor force. Single people don't. Parents do. And we all hope and pray they are doing a good job: that is, kids that are responsible, smart and values oriented.

    November 14, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  3. Emily

    What was the reaction of the church members when he came out to them? CNN didn't reveal any of that and I am curious.

    November 14, 2010 at 9:00 pm |
  4. cindy hein

    I'm very thankful for the courage Pastor Jim Swilley has and for being an authentic christian, and amen, he's right Jesus never once addressed homosexuality in all his teachings. He did however spend alot of time teaching on Love and accepting people however they are. Wake-up church and start living Christs teachings, and for all you literalist's out there, the old testament says that Homosexuality is an abomination, right up there with eating shrimp being an abomination. So next Sunday after church, when you overweight christians are enjoying the "all you can eat" shrimp at your favorite sea food resturant, remember, you are an abomination to God according to the literal scripture. Blessings on you Pastor Jim, your'e an inspiration to believers everywhere who have had to dig deep into Gods word to understand and reconcile our beliefs with our childrens and other loved ones sexual orientaion, and I for one found an incredible loving Jesus who gave me peace, wisdom and a closer relationship with Him and my daughter because I was forced to "work out my own salvation", like the bible says...................Cindy from Canada

    November 14, 2010 at 9:06 pm |
  5. Rus

    I congratulate the Pastor who recently came out to his congregation. It's certainly welcomed in a time when our young people need it.

    November 14, 2010 at 10:47 pm |
  6. anita

    I saluate Pastors couarge for what he has just done, even though i cant explain why he had to do it in open, anyways, I thank God for his life, and i pray and wish the best for him..........

    November 14, 2010 at 10:51 pm |
  7. Kevin

    So, if homosexuality really isn't a sin, then what is, according to the Bible? If the Bible is soooo unreliable, then what standard should Christians rely on? Feelings are fickle and everyone's feelings are different. If homosexuality is ok, then what about bestiality or polygamy? What absolute standard is there to say that those things are wrong or anything else in the world? Cultural relativism is a slippery slope.

    November 14, 2010 at 11:20 pm |
  8. Gerardo Campos

    I think it took a lot of courage for Mr.Swilley to address his congregation the way he did. I sincerely hope that this will help others in congregations all over the united states to stop opressing individuals in their own congregations, and perhaps aide people who are in the closet to come out.

    November 15, 2010 at 1:18 am |
  9. Ann Hebert

    I encourage anyone to watch this entire video. I don't know this man but I'm proud of him! He is being true to himself and sacrificed his reputation for all of those young homosexual people out there who feel ostracized to the point of suicide. We need more people like him in this world and less people who use the bible as a "weapon". I love that imagery.

    November 15, 2010 at 1:54 am |
  10. Chuck

    @Kevin: You should try using your human-sized brain to think for yourself, and in the very least, come to the conclusion that not everybody gets a say in everybody else's business. Sometimes it's best to shut the front door and mosey along.

    November 15, 2010 at 1:48 pm |
  11. Benton

    I think the Pastor is wrong and I totally disagree with him. I am not perfect, no one is, but the bible clearly teaches that homosexuality is not right along with many other things..a sin is a sin. Homosexuality is mentioned in the old and new testament. I disagree with the Pastor because he is saying that homosexuality is not a sin and that is simply untrue in the bible. I am am Christian and I do have trouble with sin from time to time..we all do, but I don't sit there and say "that it's not sin"..I recognize that I messed up and ask for forgivness and that is all God wants.

    November 15, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  12. Dee

    Thank you for your courage Pastor Swilley. It took myself many years of torment and depression to be comfortable with my sexuality. I love myself, I know who I am, and I absolutely KNOW that the Lord loves me too. And that is all that really matters.

    God bless you and your family

    November 15, 2010 at 11:00 pm |