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Georgia megachurch pastor comes out in front of entire congregation

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Jim Swilley

An Atlanta area pastor recently came out of the closet during church services and the reaction was surprisingly positive. Jim Swilley, who founded Church in the Now in Rockdale County in 1975 and is recently divorced after two decades of marriage, says homosexuality is not a choice and Christians need to be more accepting of it.

He added that the recent gay teen suicides are partly what inspired him to come out. He told the local news: "As a father — think about your 16-, 17-year-old killing themselves. I thought somebody needed to say something."

Despite what the video would have you believe, the reaction has been almost entirely positive. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution hailed his decision to come out during a church service "courageous," while several blogs referred to his comments as "powerful" and/or "moving".

Bonus factoid: one blog reports that Swilley is the father of the singer from the Black Lips.

UPDATE: Further research reveals that the Black Lips frontman is indeed Swilley's son and that he apologized for calling the guy from the Wavves a "faggot" four times after a bar fight back in March.