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Minnesota church expelled over support for gay marriage

Pastor defrocked after vote an national church meeting.

Posted: Jun 29, 2019 11:01 AM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Leaders of the Evangelical Covenant Church have voted to defrock a Minneapolis pastor and expel his church for permitting gay marriage.

The Rev. Dan Collison had his credentials removed by a 77% vote at the Evangelical Covenant Church's annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, on Friday night.

Leaders also voted to expel Collison's First Covenant Church in downtown Minneapolis. First Covenant was a founding member of the 135-year-old denomination. A Michigan pastor also was defrocked for officiating at his son's same-sex marriage.

Collison told the Star Tribune he was "not surprised" but "saddened" after he was voted out.

The ECC says First Covenant is free to keep operating as a church. First Covenant says Collison will continue serving as lead pastor.

In 2014, a First Covenant staff member officiated at an off-site wedding of two women from the church worship band.

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