Support of LGBTQ Rights Could Get One Pastor's Church Voted Out of W.Va. Baptist Convention

Feb 20, 2018

A pastor in Fairmont has publicly supported a local human rights ordinance that would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination. But the endorsement could cost her church its spot in a local Baptist association and from the West Virginia Baptist Convention.


Fairmont City Council passed the human rights ordinance last September. Pastor Valerie Gittings spoke in favor of the ordinance, because she doesn’t think being gay should prevent people from being included in church.

“It really does trouble me that the community and the joy that can be found in the fellowship of a church, is often denied to these people," said Gittings. "I guess that’s why I felt it was so important for people who believe the way I do to speak that out loud.”

But Gettings’ stance could get her congregation, the First Baptist Church, voted out of the Fairmont Baptist Association. An executive board from the association voted on Monday to recommend dis-fellowship of Gettings’ church to the full board. The board will meet soon for a vote to decide on the matter.