Ridgedale pastor affirms stance in Sunday service as small group protests outside

Ridgedale pastor affirms stance in Sunday service as small group protests outside

August 25th, 2013 by Staff Report in Local - Breaking News

From left, Tim Hinck, Janelle Jackson, Jared Story (with Keziah Story) and Dennis Westmeier say goodbye to one another after demonstrating outside the Ridgedale Church of Christ on Sunday in Chattanooga. The church, in a stance against gay marriage, recently gave an ultimatum to the family of a gay daughter: repent or leave.

Photo by Maura Friedman/Times Free Press.

After a week of controversy over Ridgedale Church of Christ's stance that a family should confess and repent sin for supporting a lesbian daughter, its pastor spoke Sunday on the obligations of faith.

"Some people only want the love of God without the wrath of God," Pastor Ken Willis told a small congregation of church members and supporters.

Outside the small church, five protesters stood quietly in support of the Cooper family, who left Ridgedale Church of Christ after church officials said they had to leave or repent for their sins. The family said the church ousted them because they showed support for their lesbian daughter, Collegedale Detective Kat Cooper.

Protester Tim Hinck said the church's actions were "close-minded" and showed "bigotry."

"I wanted to show solidarity with Kat and her family. It's important to make a statement when things like this come up," Hinck said.

See Monday's Times Free Press for complete coverage.