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Antigay pastor
accused of financial impropriety

Antigay pastor
accused of financial impropriety

The Reverend Terry Fox, who last month abruptly resigned from a church from which he led a statewide fight against same-sex marriage in Kansas, left in part because he had used church money to support his radio program, leaders at Wichita's Immanuel Baptist Church said. After serving as pastor of Immanuel Baptist for more than nine years, Fox resigned on August 6, saying his frequent nationwide travels to speak on political, social, and religious issues prompted his departure.

On Wednesday, chairman of the deacons Don James issued the church's first official comment about the unexpected resignation. The prepared statement said witnesses testified that Fox had threatened to sue "individuals who might say anything negatively" about him and that his behavior "reflected negatively on the Scriptural qualifications expected of a pastor."

Fox, who now leads services for Summit Church inside a Western-themed amusement park, denied he threatened to sue anyone when he spoke with Immanuel leaders. "What I said to them is, as people are talking and rumors and allegations are made, anyone in America has a right to be protected," he said, "including Baptist preachers."

Fox, whose new church is also affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, also dismissed claims that he had improperly used church donations for his nationally syndicated radio show, Answering the Call. Fox typically speaks out against abortion and other social issues on the program he cohosts with the Reverend Joe Wright, a retired pastor. The two men spearheaded the push last year for a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages.

Church leaders said that a "careful examination of the church's financial records revealed reallocation of cooperate [sic] program funds. A portion of the reallocation was used for a radio program not affiliated with the church." (AP)

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