Activists find comment on church video offensive

SAN DIEGO - A new church in North Park is creating some controversy.

Shadow Mountain Community Church of El Cajon is now offering services at the former Grace Church on Georgia Street at University Avenue on the border of Hillcrest. Shadow Mountain is an evangelical Christian church that promotes traditional family values. A video on the church's website shows excited parishioners talking about their new location, but there is one comment that some found offensive.

The video features a clip of one woman saying, "to actually get a chance to grow and flourish in what would be a dark, dark neighborhood." 

"I think for them to just come into a neighborhood and say we're glad we're in a dark, dark place is kind of a little one sided and biased and it's judgmental," said Sean Sala, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activist.

10News spoke to the pastor, Dr. David Jeremiah on Wednesday evening. He says they set up services in North Park when community members came to them for help because Grace Church was on the verge of shutting down.

"The thought that we're down there to cause trouble is exactly at the other end of the spectrum for why we went there," said Jeremiah.

The pastor said he does not know what the woman in the video was referring to, but he does not believe it was meant to insult the gay community.

"I didn't have anything to do with putting it there," said Jeremiah. "I don't know how it got there, or what was meant by it but there's all kinds of darkness. I mean, I don't know what kind of darkness they're talking about. People are going to read that through their own eyes."

Sala is hoping to have an open conversation with the congregation.

"You're in the neighborhood. Let's have a public forum on your views and let's have a dialogue, instead of just calling each other light and darkness," he said.

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