May 29, 2012 at 6:21 am
ST. PAUL, MN (AP) - A Minnesota pastor whose congregation largely went elsewhere after he backed gay marriage is hoping to receive enough donations to keep the church open.
The Rev. Oliver White runs Grace Community United Church of Christ in St. Paul. The 69-year-old needs to raise $200,000 by June 30 to pay off a church loan.
While two-thirds of his followers have gone elsewhere, other supporters from around the country are rallying to his aid. They include a web-show host from Kansas City, Mo., the director of a gay-friendly online forum based in New York and an entrepreneur from San Francisco.
They're using online efforts to attract donations. A St. Paul Pioneer Press report (http://bit.ly/JPHYFv) says they've collected about $20,000.
White acknowledges he faces a ''monumental task'' but says he won't give up.