A South African pastor expelled from his African Methodist Episcopal church for espousing an LGBTQ-affirming message has been reinstated.
Tebeho Klaas had been suspended from his position for work with the Other Foundation, an organization promoting tolerance and acceptance of LGBTQ individuals. Klaas has pushed for greater visibility in society and the church for gender and sexual minorities, a view Bishop Paul Mulenga Kawimbe deemed to be heresy. The 19th Episcopal District in August expelled Klaas, reports MambaOnline. Klaas was fighting his expulsion in court.
Then in September, the AME denomination fired Kawimbe over the bishop's homophobic views, according to The Star. The South African newspaper reports the AME's Judicial Council, which is based in the United States, tossed the bishop "for the good of the church" as details of his decision-making were revealed in the court case with Klaas.
Rather than continue to fight Klaas in court, leaders of the AME reinstated Klaas at the East Annual Conference in South Africa.
"Be assured, this is a matter I am not likely to put aside as I pursue the future in the church," Klaas wrote on his Facebook page. "It is a future and a ministry which puts at the centre the LGBTI Christians."