- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Gallery Church in New York City claims it was booted from its $25,000-per-year rental space in a local restaurant for preaching Christian messages that included sermons against same-sex relations and marriage.

The church pastor, Freddy Wyatt, said in a story reported by The Blaze that “this particular sermon series struck a nerve in the neighborhood. There was an enormous amount of backlash. … The restaurant said that if it had only been a couple of phone calls [it received] it would have been one thing – but it was more than that.”

On the church’s online blog, Pastor Wyatt said that services had only been held at the new rental space for a couple of months, before owners of the restaurant that was hosting the congregation asked them to leave.

He wrote: “The restaurant that was hosting us had received significant backlash from the neighborhood for hosting a Christian church in their space. The backlash came before the sermon was even preached … Our church was sobered by the persecution and responded with grace and gratitude. … We were given a short two months to find a new space. Not an easy task.”

The church paid the restaurant about $150 each Sunday to hold services at the facility – for a total of about $25,000 each year, the pastor said, in The Blaze. Roughly 10 attended services, and most stayed and paid to eat at the restaurant when church wrapped for the day, the pastor said.

“Yet, disassociating from a Christian church was more valuable to them,” the pastor, said, in his blog posting.

SEE ALSO: San Antonio proposal could set the stage for barring Christians from city council

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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