HOUSTON, Texas — A local church is reported to have dismissed a volunteer during the peak of the Hurricane Harvey relief effort after learning the woman is Jewish and a lesbian. The move came after she spent several days working for the church’s food bank and personally donated $500 in goods.
Carmin Hix served in the United States Navy. When she saw the devastation to her community form the Harvey flood waters, she wanted to help, the Jewish Press reported. After working for several days and donating food to the relief effort of the Calvary Church, she said faith leaders told her she was no longer welcome because she is Jewish and a lesbian.
“TODAY, I was “FIRED” from volunteering because I identify as Jewish (discovering my Jewish heritage recently) and would not say that I was Christian when called into the ‘Principal’s Office’ by the Head of their food pantry,” Hix posted on her Facebook page. “I called the church and let them know how I felt when I got home. Pastor ‘Ron’ asked if I would meet with him at Calvary. I went. He also informed me that it was thought or it was rumored that I am a Lesbian, which is against their Christian beliefs.”
Hix said she responded to a question from a co-worker at the church’s food bank about her relationship status. She responded to the woman that she has been in a relationship with one woman for 20 years.
“I told Pastor ‘Ron’ that when they called me to volunteer, they didn’t bother to ask me to check or not check those boxes…Jewish and Lesbian,” she explained. “Told him…’When you needed me, it didn’t matter. Now that you’re dwindling down the operation, it seems to matter’.”
Hix said the pastor told her, “We can’t let you represent our church, as being a Lesbian is a sin…”
The church responded to an inquiry from Houston’s NBC affiliate Click2Houston. “We would never do that,” Pastor Ron Hindt told the reporter.
“At no time did I ever say you couldn’t serve here. I told her I have Jewish friends. I go to Israel all the time … There are people coming to the church who are gay and lesbian,” the pastor said.
Angered over being called a liar by the pastor, Hix posted a challenge to the Calvary Houston minister Wednesday evening.
“I’m putting up a challenge to Pastor ‘Ron,’ his Director of the food bank, Tyra, supervisor of the food bank. I will pay for a lie detector test for all of us, and agree to publicly post our results, to put to rest, what truly happened to me at the hands of the Calvary Church.”
Since being “fired” from the Calvary Houston church, Hix found a new place to be of service. She is working at a food pantry set up by SSG Group in nearby Alvin, Texas. The company chose to shut down its regular operations at the plant and turn it into an emergency relief shelter in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Others volunteering at the plant include the Confederate Riders of America and American Freedom Keepers, the NBC affiliate reported.
“I just wanted to share this,” Hix posted on her Facebook page late last week, “After being ‘fired’ from volunteering for a supposedly ‘Christian’ church, Calvary Houston in Friendswood, I looked for another place to volunteer at a food bank, with which I have experience. I was sent a link to SSG Group LLC. I contacted them and told them what I had just gone through and asked if my being Jewish and a Lesbian would be a problem for them. I was told, ‘absolutely not!’ ‘If anyone gives you any grief, you come talk to me personally’.”
Hix retired from the U.S. Navy as a Senior Chief Petty Officer.