Pastor James David Manning has long been an enemy of LGBT New York, with his church putting up signs that call for the stoning and damnation of gay people. In what is a satisfying turn of events for many, his church is now under water and about to be sold at public auction — and the Ali Forney Center and the LGBT-friendly Rivers of Living Water church are working hard to purchase the Harlem house of worship.
Ali Forney — which houses and assists homeless LGBT youth — and the Rivers congregation had raised over $118,000 by late Monday to buy ATLAH World Missionary Church on 123rd Street; $200,000 is needed to meet their fundraising goal. If they are successful, Ali Forney would use part of the church as more housing for queer youth, while Rivers of Living Water would use the remaining space for its parish. (Click here to donate.)
Should the purchase go through, it would offer psychological benefits, along with practical.
“I think it would represent a real healing of a terrible wound that’s been in that neighborhood,” Carl Siciliano, founder and executive director of the Ali Forney Center, told The Guardian.
Pastor Manning has become notorious over the past few years for signage at the church with messages such as “Jesus would stone homos” and that all supporters of LGBT people should be cursed with cancer, HIV, madness, and eternal damnation.
He has also posted videos online in which he claims that “upscale sodomites” gather at Starbucks to spread Ebola and other diseases and that the coffee chain flavors its drinks with the “semen of sodomites.” And he’s said that President Obama has “released homo demons on the black man”and that gay athletes are pedophiles.