Grace Community United Church of Christ will close its doors this weekend, but the pastor who says his decision to publicly support gay-marriage rights unwittingly thrust it on a path toward financial ruin plans to find a new home for his small congregation.
He has faith that his flock will follow.
The Rev. Oliver White, 69, had hoped fundraising would keep the predominantly African-American church on St. Paul's East Side open after a Seattle investor demanded full payment on a high-interest loan.
But after a well-publicized Internet campaign raised only about $56,000 of the $200,000 the church needs to pay off its debt, White has decided to call it quits. He will close Grace Community United and look for a new home elsewhere for what remains of his once-bountiful congregation.