Pastor Matthew Makela
An anti-gay reverend in Michigan has been outed on a gay dating app, amid claims that he also urged a gay teenager to kill himself.
Gay blog Queerty revealed earlier this week that Pastor Matthew Makela from the St. John’s Lutheran Church and School had an active profile on Grindr.
In screen grabs posted by the site, the pastor is seen in a shirtless selfie. He also wrote in a conversation with another man that he loves “making out naked,” likes “oral and massage” and that he prefers to “top”.
In the pulpit, however, the married father of five is better known for his homophobia; preaching that homosexuality is sinful and similar to alcoholism and that same-sex marriage is unnatural.
In the wake of the scandal, a parishioner has come forward alleging that the hypocritical Makela had urged her then 17-year-old son to take his own life because he’s gay.
An angry Jennifer Kish told WNEM that the pastor said to her son, Tyler, that “if he was going to go to hell for being gay then he might as well go to hell by committing suicide.”
Tyler confirmed that Makela’s words had led him to contemplate suicide. He added: “Honestly feel very bad for him, because looking at it everything he was telling me, he was telling himself too, and I think that he was really kind of self destructing and hurting people around him.”
Makela, who, according to Queerty, confirmed that the Grindr profile was indeed his, has since stepped down from his church position.
Senior Pastor Reverend Daniel Kempin confirmed the resignation in a letter posted on the church’s website.
He slated the media and “malicious posters” for publishing “the details of sin” and aiming to “do harm to the Makela family and to St. John’s.”
Kempin also urged parishioners not to panic when “confronted with the details of the sin, and to remind you that sin is never pretty”.