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Presbyterian Church ordains first openly gay minister

October 8, 2011 |  5:47 pm

Scott Anderson

The Rev. Scott Anderson became the first openly gay Presbyterian minister on Saturday after being ordained at a ceremony in Madison, Wis.

The Presbyterian Church USA voted in May to amend its constitution allowing gays and lesbians to serve as ministers and lay leaders.

The Rev. Mark Achtemeier, who once staunchly opposed allowing gays and lesbians to serve in the church leadership, gave a sermon at the ordination.

Over the years, Anderson became a friend and helped lead Achtemeier to change his position on including gays and lesbians in the clergy.

“I believe God will use your ministry, Scott, as a life-giving spring of water for sustaining weary exiles who have been alienated from the church of Jesus Christ and are seeking a way back home," Achtemeier said during the sermon.

The 2.3-million-member church became the fourth mainline Protestant denomination to allow gay ordination, following the Episcopal and Evangelical Lutheran churches and the United Church of Christ.

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--Stephen Ceasar

Photo: The Rev. Scott Anderson, facing camera, is greeted following his ordination ceremony in Madison, Wis., on Saturday. Credit: Craig Schreiner / Wisconsin State Journal

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