If you position yourself as some type of moral leader for a community while living a very large personal lie, there's something fundamentally wrong. But it's never too late to stand up, be counted and earn well-deserved respect. IKN salutes and applauds Jim Swilley, story excerpted from this link.
The pastor of a megachurch in Conyers, Ga., told his congregation last week that he’s gay, saying that while he knows his announcement might ruin his career, the recent rash of suicides pushed him to speak out. Jim Swilley, 52, founded Rockdale County’s Church in the Now 25 years ago. His wife, Debye, was the associate pastor, and together they had four children.
Swilley says he’s known that he’s gay since he was a boy, and his wife knew when they got married. Jim and Debye are now divorced, but they kept his secret for more than 21 years.
“As a father, thinking about your 16-, 17-year-old killing themselves, I thought somebody needed to say something,” he told WSB TV in Atlanta. “I know all the hateful stuff that’s being written about me online, whatever. To think about saving a teenager, yeah, I'll risk my reputation for that.”