Christian Gallery Forced to Close for Refusing to Host Gay Wedding Reopens as Church
Carrie DedrickReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2015 Nov 03
A gallery that was formerly owned by a Christian couple has now been converted into a church after the couple refused to host a same-sex wedding at their business.
Christian Today reports Richard and Betty Odgaard were the previous owners of Görtz Haus Gallery, a gift shop and bistro in Iowa. When a same-sex couple approached them to book a wedding at the venue, the Odgaards refused, prompting a lawsuit.
The couple were charged with discrimination and forced to pay a $5,000 settlement. They also had to close their business, after other couples cancelled their bookings at the gallery.
The Odgaards have now sold the property to Harvest Bible Chapel, a non-denominational church associated with the Harvest Bible Fellowship church network. The church is set to open this Sunday.
The couple have been attending Harvest Bible Fellowship for the past nine months and are pleased that the property will be their new church.
"If it can't be a gallery anymore, this is the next best thing," Betty Odgaard said.
Harvest Bible Fellowship Pastor Ryan Jorgenson said, "We fully support the stand that the Odgaards have made with their building and with their business. But our biggest thing by far is we want to be known as a church that loves Jesus. We preach and teach the Bible fully. We want to be a blessing to our community."
Photo courtesy: flickr.com
Publication date: November 3, 2015