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WATCH: Ark. Baptist Church Kicks Out 20-Year-Old for 'Homosexual Lifestyle'

WATCH: Ark. Baptist Church Kicks Out 20-Year-Old for 'Homosexual Lifestyle'

Dylan Settles
Dylan Settles

The church notified Dylan Settles in a surprising letter that he was no longer welcome – because he is gay. 

After six years as an active member of Woods Chapel General Baptist Church in Brookland, Ark., Dylan Settles received a letter this week telling him that he was no longer welcome because he is gay.

"We as the church board here at Woods Chapel General Baptist Church, have with great sorrow, voted to remove your name immediately from the church membership role," the letter reads. "It is the desire of your church family, you would turn from the sinful lifestyle you have chosen, repent of the sins you have committed, and return to full fellowship with God and the church body."

Settles, 20, was struggling with his sexuality privately for years before he decided to come out to his family three months ago, Little Rock TV station KARK reports.

"I asked for God to just kind of take it out of my life and give me some hope and faith that I could find a wife or a girlfriend," he told KARK. "I was tired of living for somebody else. ... I kind of just chose to live for what I wanted and be happy."

News of Settles's coming-out eventually reached the church, prompting the letter, which reads in part:

"It has come to the attention, of the church body, that you have made it known publicly, of your choice, to embrace the homosexual lifestyle. ...

"If you would like to meet with any or all of the church board, please contact your Pastor, or any of the board members, to appoint a time. We would very much like to council with you, and we will continue to pray for you and your family."

Settles posted an image of the letter to his Facebook page. The post has more than 2,800 shares at press time. KARK notes that the church's pastor and several members have all refused to comment on the letter.

But that hasn't stopped church members from contacting Settles, he said. "They've been throwing Bible verses at me," Settles said, speculating that members are blaming for the increased media attention on the church.

Settles has no plans to return to Woods Chapel, he told KARK:

"I don't feel comfortable sitting at a pew or sitting beside my parents when all I'm going to see is people pointing their fingers at me."

Watch KARK's report below, then see a copy of the full letter at the bottom of this page.

Dylan Settles letter

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