An antigay megachurch is moving into an ultraliberal, LGBT-friendly section of an ultraliberal, LGBT-friendly city — Portland, Ore.
The Mars Hill Church, which is based in another highly liberal city — Seattle — has bought a vacant church building in southeast Portland and will begin offering services there this weekend, The Oregonian reports.
Mars Hill has nine church campuses in the western United States, with three more to be added soon, including the one in Portland. Its founder, Mark Driscoll, often preaches against homosexuality. “A gay couple walks into your group, you’re supposed to tell them to repent,” he said in a sermon posted on the church website. “And if at any point you don’t tell them to repent, you’re not faithful to Biblical Christianity.”
The Oregonian notes, “The arrival of the church in a gay-friendly city with a gay mayor has prompted reactions that range from anger to incredulity.” Logan Lynn, a staff member at Q Center, the city’s LGBT community center, told the paper Mars Hill is “a strange fit for our town,” but added that Q Center will reach out to the congregants and invite them to visit the center. “We’ll be respectful of them and try to make friends,” Lynn said.