MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Minneapolis pastor is under fire.

Pastor Dan Collison, of First Covenant Church in downtown Minneapolis, faces a vote by national leaders of the Evangelical Covenant Church, who will soon decide whether to evict him and his church because of disagreements over support of the LGBTQIA community.

On Wednesday, Collison was in Omaha, Nebraska, meeting with church leaders before they vote about his future in the denomination.

Collison, or “Pastor Dan,” as he is called, is sticking to his stance: He believes his church should have the freedom to disagree with the denomination’s take on same-sex marriage.

WCCO’s Reg Chapman has more on the historic vote.

“We met here in 2012, got married in 2014. This community has held us throughout our relationship,” said Lisa Albinson.

First Covenant Church plays a huge role in the lives of Lisa and Heather Albinson. Both credit the church’s Pastor for creating an inclusive environment where all people can thrive.

“Even though we were not allowed to be married by Pastor Dan because of his ordination under the Evangelical Covenant Church he still supported us and we’ve gone on this long journey together to get to this point where we can proudly say were inclusive of everyone,” said Lisa Albinson.

Because of this stance, First Covenant could be involuntarily removed from the Evangelical Covenant Church.

“They never disciplined or kicked out a pastor or a church for disagreeing with those positions so this is the unique environment that we are in at this moment,” explained Collision.

Collision says Lisa and Heather’s wedding sparked a yearlong conflict with denomination leaders.

The denomination’s stance is marriage is a union between a man and woman, what First Covenant and its congregation want is a change in the conversation, to be able to disagree but still serve the people that call this sanctuary home.

“We’re asking as an independent congregation to do our thing which has been the historic covenant tradition to be able to minister the people in our community here in the middle of downtown,” explained Heather Albinson. “We know that there are a lot of things that other parts of the covenant agree and disagree on, but we’ve been able to hold that together and we want that for this particular discussion as well.”

Pastor Dan says if the church is involuntarily separated from the ECC it will continue to serve the people in the Downtown Minneapolis community.

The vote should happen by Friday.

Reg Chapman

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