North Dakota church votes to split from ELCA over homosexual clergy

HARVEY, ND – The congregation of the First Lutheran Church of Harvey, ND, has cast the first of two votes to split from the EvangelicalLutheranChurch in America.

Two-thirds of the congregation voted in favor of the split last month. The congregation must wait 90 days before the second and final vote.

The proposed split follows a national church policy that allows gay and lesbian people to serve as pastors or in other church leadership positions.

Rev. Fred Westerhold says that no matter what the congregation decides, there are no winners.

If the split is approved, Westerhold says the congregation could join another Lutheran denomination or partner with other churches to create its own.