The sign, saying “homosexuality is still sin”, was posted by the Trinity Bible Presbyterian Church and its then pastor, Justin Hoke, at the start of the new year.
In a statement on Facebook Saturday night, Hoke announced that he no longer holds that position at the church. He wrote that the other elder of the church, as well as several members of the congregation, felt it was best if he moved on, so both sides agreed to part ways.
The news shocked protesters, who were at the church for the second week in a row today, to try and get the sign taken down. NBC5 news spoke with one of the organizers, who said their goal was never to get Pastor Hoke removed.
“I would like to hope not, I don’t want to be responsible for someone losing their job, the point in this protest is to show love for the LGBTQ community and other members of the community as well,” said protest organizer, Charolette Kalayjian
We’re told the sign has not been taken down as of tonight. Kalagyian tells me the protest will be held again next week if the sign is not removed.
NBC5 News reached out to Pastor Hoke for comment. He said that the protests were not the reason for his separation from the church, but it was due to a difference in philosophy.
“There was a fear we would lose what little congregation that we had if I remained,” Pastor Hoke said.
Hoke told us Sunday that as far as he knows the sign is not being taken down, and the message will remain the same.
Devin Gooden graduated from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication with a Master’s degree in Sports Journalism.
She has spent most of her life in Atlanta, Georgia and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia in Business Management.
When she’s not reporting, Devin practices yoga, reads thriller novels and loudly cheers for her beloved Georgia Bulldawgs.