Last week, Sarah Edwards wrote about the new Pioneers Durham, a homophobic church and a coffee shop that’s opening in the heart of the Bull City’s downtown this winter. Our readers, of course, had thoughts. 

“Thank you @eddy_sarah for this thoughtful piece that explains what a space such as pioneers church means not just in terms of queer-durham, but how it fits into the larger religious context in Old North Durham as well as the ever growing class/economy divides,” wrote Twitter user Kate Roberts.

Twitter user Maggie Thomas wrote this thread:

​​“disappointed in the leadership of this church. as a duke div alum & having been in a church planting spiritual formation w the pastor, i was excited to see where this would lead. however, i’m really sad at the harm this has already, and will continue, to cause—a damn shame. this just goes to show that flowery language of welcome and love means nothing if not followed up with right and true action. you can’t just ~say~ you’re with and for a city and it’s people without actually ~being~ with and for all of it’s people. durham is too good for this. bad theology kills. quite literally. and it breaks my heart to know that this is the theology being expressed at Pioneers in a community as lovely and queer and beautiful as Durham.”

Some readers thought we should have been harder on Pioneers: ​​“so much of this article is so unnecessarily kind to what is clearly not a good person what a bizarre choice,” wrote @lo_lifer on Twitter. 

Others just wanted to vent.

“​​And here I thought something cool was going into that space. Massive cringe,” wrote Nadia Conroy on Facebook.

“Great article. That place needs a hell of a lot more salt poured around it,” wrote Facebook commenter Sabrina Miracoli

“I sure feel a whole lot of ‘yikes’ about this endeavor,” wrote Facebooker Rachel Moninger

We’ll give the last word to Twitter user @mcmanlypants:

“This church is running a for-profit business, taking anti-LGBTQ money, mealy-mouthing about us every time they’re asked, openly courting gentrifiers, and their pastor talks like a how-to pamphlet on manipulation while telling people she has ‘visions’ about them. Fun.”

“Fun,” indeed.

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