Church fires children’s choir conductor for being gay


Ryan Mould had been working at Trinity United Methodist Church, in Jacksonville, North Carolina, for three years and he was made redundant following his sexuality being revealed during one of the church leaderships meeting. Reverend Steve Smith asked Mould about his history at the church, his repenting and water baptism. “I explained I was first welcomed to the church to sing in the choir and that led to me being asked to be the children’s music director. I felt safe, welcome and loved at Trinity,” said the man adding that he had thought that he would not have been accepted by the church because he was gay. And unfortunately he was right. “He [the Reverend] told me he had been thinking and praying about what I told him about my sexuality and he felt he needed to bring that information to the church’s staff-parish relations committee,” the conductor said. There was one more church leadership meeting to discuss the man’s future. He was asked if he was still sexually active, if he was celibate, and if he was seeking a partner of the same-sex. He was fired shortly after the meeting on the grounds that the denomination’s lawbook does not allow gay people in leadership roles. Jan Lawrence, director of Reconciling Ministries Network, an unofficial United Methodist group advocating for LGBT+ inclusion in the church, said: “This is yet another painful example of why changing our denominational policies remains an urgent issue. Until all discriminatory policies are eradicated, they run the risk of being manipulated and exaggerated, broadening their potential for harm as evidenced in this painful situation,” she added.


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