A lesbian woman threatened with excommunication from her church for not repenting her homosexuality and refusing to participate in “Godly sorrow leading to repentance”, has spoken out about her treatment at the hands of the four church elders.

Krystal Cox is the owner and operator of Hair Bar Salon in Woodstock, has been a hair stylist for nearly 20 years and a member of the congregation of the Woodstock Church of Christ in Georgia, USA for around five years.

Until recently, Krystal used to post happy snaps with her husband.  But when she divorced him and found joy with another woman, musician Tayler Jacques, and started to celebrate her new relationship on social media, the church elders of the Woodstock Church of Christ were quick to condemn her.

They only want what’s best for her, apparently

The four elders initially sent her a letter in December 2020 asking for a meeting and when that got no response from Krystal, they doubled down with another one dated the 1st of April, this time threatening all sorts of arcane spiritual repercussions if she didn’t submit to their demands by the end of the month and change her “wicked ways”. 

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“As elders of the Woodstock congregation, we have the responsibility to watch out for the souls of each member of this congregation.”, the letter read.

“As we have previously stated, we feel it is crucial to remind you that our Lord considered it vital that no one can be involved in homosexuality and be in a pleasing relationship with God.”

Krystal was threatened with excommunication in the letter, stating that unless she ‘repents’ her sexuality, the divorced mother of two will be publicly excommunicated and fellow Christians will be banned from ‘interacting’ with her, unless they were trying to make her see the error of her ways. 

‘It is important that you understand after fellowship has been withdrawn from you, Christians must not interact with you except to encourage you to repent and seek forgiveness,’ they concluded.

The letter is full of faux concern about Krystal’s soul and her apparent unwillingness to be hauled in front of a panel of four older men and questioned about the intimate details of her lesbian relationship, citing concerns about her “lack of desire to hear our concerns, apparent lack of willingness to repent, and the public display of your homosexual relationship” and begging that she understand that they are doing this for her own good, 

“Please understand this is an effort to encourage in you a Godly sorrow leading to repentance,” they wrote.

“Please understand that we love you and pray that you will repent, seek forgiveness and return to worshipping our Father in the Lord’s church.”

Letter posted to Instagram

 

In response, Krystal posted a copy of the sanctimonious letter to social media and has since shared her story with CBS46, a local news channel in Georgia. In their interview with them, Cox said,  “Well when I opened it, I was kind of enraged. Like, why am I getting picked on and getting called out when everyone has sinned?”

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“The fact that they’re going to point it out and release my personal business to the entire congregation of the church and tell them that I can no longer come there I just don’t feel like that’s right.”

Since the story broke, the Woodstock Church of Christ has closed down their Facebook page, their website has gone offline and when the journalist covering the story for CBS46 went down to the church, no-one was home.

At the end of their report, CBS 46 noted that they had contacted the four elders of the church named in the letter sent to Cox for comment but none of them have responded.

The Woodstock Church of Christ seems rather less accepting than say, the Pitt Street Uniting Church in Sydney, where Reverend Josephine ‘Jo’ Inkpin has recently “become the first openly transgender minister to be inducted into a mainstream church”, as reported by the Star Observer earlier this month.

On their listing on the Church Finder website, ChurchAngel.com, Woodstock Church of Christ states, “The basic beliefs of the Church of Christ are in an all-knowing, unchangeable, loving God who has a plan for mankind to spend eternity with Him. The plan is available for all mankind and He has provided the directions and requirements of obedience necessary in His Holy Scriptures.”

Unfortunately for Krystal Cox, she’s discovered in the fine print that “all mankind” apparently doesn’t include anyone from the LGBTQI+ community. 

“It feels terrible that they won’t let anyone come and worship,” Cox said.

“I can’t wait for my denouncement ceremony”.

 

If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.

For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

 

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