ST.PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – A St. Paul church says a “miracle” $15,000 donation is helping it keep its doors open.

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The Grace Community United Church started to suffer financially when they lost more than 70 percent of their congregation following the pastor’s endorsement of same-sex marriage.

The largely African-American Congregationalist church says they have experienced the high cost of supporting same-sex marriage.

“Some young people, maybe age 12 or so were walking by … I said why don’t you all come to Sunday school this Sunday, and their response was, ‘We heard you are a gay church and we can’t come here,'” the Rev. Oliver White said.

It was in 2005 when White voted in favor of the United Church of Christ’s endorsement of same-sex marriage. Ever since, he says he’s been explaining the decision.

“We are not a gay church, we are church with a door that’s open to everybody,” White said.

It was a sentiment 150 former congregation members said they wouldn’t stand by.

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“They take the bible very, very literally,” White said.

Despite the backlash, White, who calls himself a country preacher, is still continuing to preach what he believes is the right thing.

Last Sunday, White presented the $15,000 check from a United Church of Christ in Dallas made up mostly of gays and lesbians.

“I had to get on a life support machine following that,” White said.

For their congregation, it was one big step closer to keeping their commitment and their church alive.

“All I could think of…is God is still speaking,” said Frances Goodlow, a parishioner.

WCCO-TV tried to reach out to congregants who left the church. WCCO also asked if Minnesota for Marriage or the Minnesota Family Council wanted to release a statement.

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Although the organizations didn’t respond, their websites reflect beliefs centered on the idea that marriage is between a man and a woman.