NEWBURGH, Ind (WEHT) – The former Newburgh pastor relieved from his duties last year for appearing on the HBO Series “We’re Here” spoke out on Tamron Hall on Friday.
The docu-series is about drag queens recruiting small town residents to perform to foster inclusivity. Pastor Craig Duke says he was interested in performing to honor his daughter Tiffany, who is a member of the LGBTQ community.
Duke faced severe backlash following his performance and even received death threats. In December, the United Methodist Church in Newburgh parted ways with Duke.
“The church has always been a fickle place, religion’s always been a challenging thing,” said Duke. “But when you experience something that was such a high for our family and to have been accepted so widely by those that are either allies or in the LGBTQI+ community and then to be so rejected by those within the religious community and beyond it was painful.”
Duke’s daughter Tiffany said despite what happened with the church, she is very proud of her father for stepping out of his comfort zone and taking part in the show. Pastor Duke says the journey has led him to start a new church called the Fusion of Inclusion in an effort to provide a faith experience in an untraditional setting.