A Presbyterian pastor was pushed out of his northern California parish this week after he erected a sign outside the church that stated, "homosexuality is a sin" and transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner "is still a man."
"As of today, I am no longer the pastor of Trinity Bible Presbyterian Church," Pastor Justin Hoke wrote on Facebook over the weekend. "I was informed that essentially all but one couple in membership would leave the church if I continued as pastor."
"I did not want to leave, I did not quit, and I was willing to stay," Hoke added.
Prior to his ousting, Hoke told local NBC affiliate KOBI-TV that he found it "very offensive" that people in the community were calling the sign "hateful."
“There is no hate at all in that sign," he said.
Hoke's dismissal followed a community protest that was held outside the Shastina, California, church, which sits just south of the Oregon border. Protestors were overjoyed after finding out about Hoke's departure and the subsequent removal of the sign.
“The power of protest. You got to love it!” Michelle Meeks Le Guellec, one of the protest organizers, told NBC News.
Several protest participants conveyed that church parishioners have a right to believe whatever they want, but the protesters took issue with the sign being placed for all passersby to see.
“Keep it in your church. If it’s not something hopeful for the community, if it’s not loving, keep it in your church,” Charolette Kalayjian, who helped organize the protest, told KOBI-TV. “Keep it in your house. Don’t share it with everybody.”
While Hoke was let go on Saturday, the sign remained until Tuesday, according to Meeks Le Guellec. The sign now reads: The culture may change. The Bible does not."