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      Harlingen church offers hope to gay and lesbians in the valley

      A Harlingen pastor is welcoming the gay and lesbian community to what he calls a safe haven for worship.

      Over the past year, teenagers across the country have committed suicide, many because they were bullied about their sexuality.

      Tonight a valley pastor is giving lost teens and others like them, a place to not only seek support...but spiritual guidance.

      Jonathan Powers is the pastor at Mount Calvary Christian Church here in Harlingen.

      He wants gays and lesbians across the Valley to know they have a place to come and worship without being judged.

      Powers says often gays and lesbians are told they are not loved or that Heaven isn't an option for them...something he says it just not true. And now he wants to spread the message that there is hope.

      Pastor Powers says if you read the where in there does it say anything about Jesus shunning gays and lesbians. The message Powers and his fellow church-goers want to relay is that God loves us all and we need to reach out to the children that are suffering. He says if we can do this we could lower the suicide rate to almost zero. Powers realizes there are church TMs out there that don TMt agree, but he says we should all focus on what we do agree on and that is the Through Jesus Christ, we are all saved. While Powers knows he may receive criticism for his beliefs, he says his message is still clear, to accept anyone into his church no matter who they are.

      Right now Mount Calvary Christian Church is in a small office building, but Powers says in a year they hope to have enough money to expand their services.