Cobb County church welcomes banned Boy Scouts - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Cobb County church welcomes banned Boy Scouts

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A Cobb County church has made a public invitation to Boy Scout troops that need a new home. It's a response to fallout from the decision by the Boy Scouts of America to allow openly gay scouts.

One World Spiritual Center in Marietta posted its welcome to shunned scouts on a marquee facing Shallowford Road in Cobb County.

Pastor Stephanie Seigh said the church decided to act after learning that two major Cobb County churches -- Roswell Street Baptist and Johnson Ferry Baptist -- planned to cut long-standing ties with Boy Scout troops over the issue of allowing openly gay members.

"Just as the other churches were honoring their beliefs and their values when they made their decision, we are an open and affirming congregation," said Seigh. "We honor all paths to God and many lifestyles. So we are also honoring our beliefs and our values in making this offer to the troops."

Roswell Street Baptist said its pastor was out of town. Johnson Ferry Baptist did not respond to a phone call from FOX 5.  Pastor Bryant Wright discussed the issue in a church video.

"We didn't pick this controversy, and we're deeply saddened by it, but we cannot compromise what God has called us to do in obedience to him," Bryant said in the video. "We feel the Scouts' decision has put us in a decision to have to discontinue our partnership with the Boy Scouts of America."

One World says it has an activity center, including a full-size gym, and is waiting to see if a response comes to church's invitation.

A spokesman for the Boy Scouts Atlanta Area Council says nine other organizations in Cobb County have expressed interest in partnering with scout troops that need to relocate.

The Boy Scouts Atlanta Area Council covers 13 metro area counties. The council says more than 95 percent of sponsoring organizations plan to remain with the scouting program.

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