Gay Pentecostal Pastor Leads Largely LGBT Congregation In Brazil

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Gay Pentecostal Pastor Leads Largely LGBT Congregation In Brazil

“Here everyone understands that Jesus made us this way, and it’s beautiful.”

By Jenny Barchfield | AP

Preacher Marcos Gladstone, left, and holds the hand of his husband Fabio Inacio during a service at the Contemporary Christian Church in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Sept. 7, 2015.  Gladstone and his spouse are co-founders of the Contemporary Christian Church, one of a handful of Pentecostal denominations in Brazil that welcomes gays and lesbians with open arms. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

Preacher Marcos Gladstone, left, and holds the hand of his husband Fabio Inacio during a service at the Contemporary Christian Church in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Sept. 7, 2015. Gladstone and his spouse are co-founders of the Contemporary Christian Church, one of a handful of Pentecostal denominations in Brazil that welcomes gays and lesbians with open arms. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – With his booming voice and high-voltage charisma capable of working crowds of hundreds into a lather, Marcos Gladstone has all the trappings of a successful preacher. But Gladstone has something that most other Pentecostal leaders don’t – a husband.

He and spouse Fabio Inacio are co-founders of the Contemporary Christian Church, one of a handful of Pentecostal denominations in Brazil that welcome gays and lesbians with open arms and was born out of Gladstone’s dream to preach “a gospel of love and acceptance for all people.”

Barely a presence until a few decades ago, Pentecostals now make up one-fifth of the population in Brazil, which is home to more Roman Catholics than any other nation. They’re generally more socially conservative than their Catholic brethren: fiercely opposed to abortion, which is banned except in limited circumstances, and to gay marriage; in recent years, same-sex civil unions were allowed to be convert ed into full marriages. Some Brazilian Pentecostal churches even offer programs that claim to be capable of “curing” gay people.

Not so at Contemporary Christian, which this week celebrated its ninth anniversary and the opening of its ninth branch with a raucous, theatrical service at a converted movie theater in a gritty Rio neighborhood.

“They welcome you, they accept you, because God loves us the way we are,” said Katia Simene, a 48-year-old lesbian who joined about three years ago.

Born a Catholic, Gladstone was 14 when his family converted to one of the Pentecostal churches that have proliferated mostly in poor neighborhoods. He was booted out after breaking off a four-year engagement and coming out as gay in his early 20s.

“It was a huge scandal within the church,” he said, shouting to be heard over blasting live music and the din of hundreds of worshippers streaming into the new church. “My would-be mother-in-law told everyone – even the parrots, the dogs and the parakeets.”

After that Gladstone felt he didn’t fit in at any church, so he founded Contemporary Christian in a third-floor walkup in Rio’s bohemian Lapa neighborhood. The first services attracted about a dozen parishioners.

Preacher Marcos Gladstone speaks during a service at the Contemporary Christian Church in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Sept. 7, 2015. With his sonorous, booming voice and high-voltage charisma capable of working crowds of hundreds into a lather, Marcos Gladstone has all the trappings of a successful preacher. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

Preacher Marcos Gladstone speaks during a service at the Contemporary Christian Church in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Sept. 7, 2015. With his sonorous, booming voice and high-voltage charisma capable of working crowds of hundreds into a lather, Marcos Gladstone has all the trappings of a successful preacher. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

Among the early converts was Inacio, who had also called off an engagement to a woman and broken with a Pentecostal denomination. He and Gladstone have since married and adopted two children, now ages 11 and 12.

ogether they have spearheaded the church’s expansion to over 3,000 members in three cities, with another three branches expected by the end of the year.

At this week’s service – a boisterous, nearly three-hour spectacle with choreographed dance routines and a spirited medley of devotional songs – several attendees joined the church by symbolically slipping on T-shirts that said “Smile, Jesus accepts you.” Some worshippers collapsed shaking to the floor, overcome by spiritual fervor and, perhaps, the tropical heat.

While most of the congregation is gay, it includes some heterosexuals – most of whom have a loved one who’s gay.

“We have parents of gays who are tired of homophobic speeches, tired of churches that use the sacred pulpit to preach about politics instead of God’s word,” Gladstone said.

Lilian Sales, a 28-year-old saleswoman, said the church filled a spiritual void after she was drummed out of her traditional Pentecostal community.

“At the other church, they think you’re gay because you’ve been possessed by the devil,” she said, flanked by her partner and their child. “Here everyone understands that Jesus made us this way, and it’s beautiful.”

16 Comments on “Gay Pentecostal Pastor Leads Largely LGBT Congregation In Brazil”

  1. Renee Bonner

    Are you serious? This sounds like approval of LGBT. I would hope for more of an explanation of WHY? Our Jesus is forgiving and merciful because he loves us NOT in spite of our faults but because we have accepted Him and repented and turned from our wicked ways. To continue in this lifestyle shows our selfishness and not the ways of Jesus. Jehovah said in His Word in no uncertain terms that homosexuality is an abomination. Don’t know about you but I believe the Word!

  2. Cassandra

    It’s sad, how much this is going on! I pray for their soul. I saw a clip on utube last year of Bishop Yvette Flunder, supporting LGBT her and Shirley Miller had been together 30 years she stated and they also have a church in San Francisco. They both sang with Walter Hawkins…..Yvette led the popular song “Thank You”!!
    If God did not spare Sodom and Gomorrah but sent fire to destroy th because of their evil deeds. America is in trouble and judgment is coming!!!!
    I pray for the minds of the children these gay couples are adopting, I pray God shield them, so sad!!!

    1. Dixnote7

      Nah. Not her! That song is an anthem of my walk. The anointing of real life testimonies were thread throughout what she was singing. Jeez…..dogs returning to thier own vomit.

  3. Betty

    Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.

    In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

    Romans 1: 26-27

  4. Kimlevah

    GOD loves all and The Lord Jesus died for all who excepts him but hates Sin.
    Two same sex relationship don’t fit if so ,then why can’t they procreate like a man and woman.
    Every animal has a mate that are male and female.
    And if it was so right why do these relationships have to be validated.

  5. Denise Courts

    These people are deceived. Born in sin, shaped in iniquity… If they dont repent there destiny is determined. They think they escaped because they didnt get aids/hiv and throat cancer. But God is not mocked what so ever a man or woman has sown they shall reap. Lord God have mercy upon these people!

  6. Jacob

    That is no pentecostal pastor, if he were pentecostal he would know from right and wrong. Its sad how our beliefs are being corrupted and disrespected by men who try to contradict the word or our Lord Jesus Christ.
    (ROMANS 1:27)

  7. Pastor Ca'ren Faulk

    Lord have mercy! It’s here the spirit of anti-Christ is raging! That spirit was loosed by Barak Obama!!! This world is changing fast. We are coming to the end of the beginning of birth pains. Evil is in the churches and the true body of Christ will come under attack like never before. We had better pray for real because everything is getting worse and worse!!!!

    Pastor Ca’ren ( out spoken lady 4 Christ)

  8. Dixnote7

    The blind leading the blind. God is truth and is not a lie in which this guy is living. Jesus came to save us from our sins, yet this congregation believes He created that sin in them? The blind has run into an itching ear church that upholds thier sinful ways. May the holy spirit open thier eyes to the err of thier ways.

  9. walk23

    Any congregation, especially a LGBT one, is in error. Any pastor gay or otherwise who condones homosexuality is not preaching the Gospel and they should be noted.

  10. Beth

    People from dysfunctional backgrounds established organized religion which is not Christ so be not dismayed but as obedient children walk in love.

  11. Paula

    Sigh…I came as usual to add my little piece but then I thought to myself, why bother to write what I initially had in mind? Those men and women in that church probably won’t read these comments and change their lifestyle. My spirit is growing weary of reading these kind of articles daily in the media.

    We who know the truth, know that these folk have been given over by God. We know they are deceived. We know demons running the joint. We know folk who live in sin cannot be ‘cured’ – they need deliverance! We also know that this is what the Word of God said would happen in the last days. What these homosexuals and lesbians fail to understand is that with God acceptance does not mean tolerance! It is sad how so many churches are tackling this issue in their flesh and not allowing the Holy Spirit to lead them. What is our responsibility as believers? Pray for these who are deceived, continue to walk in holiness and make a stand for righteousness.

  12. Payah

    God does love all including the everyone in the LGBT community… However he does NOT condone the sin you are in, and despite any reverence you give to God your action are against his word…. This is scripture fulfilled
    2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

  13. J. Wesson

    I used to get mad and disgusted when I read stories like this. Now I am sadden because the deception is so real. Thank God he has mercy on us all. We were all sinners and thank God we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Until people can repent and accept Jesus, they will continue to be blind to everything happening and continue to gratify their flesh.

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