Nick Johns, an organist, has been doing what he loves to do the last couple years. Playing the organ at St. Brigid Catholic church is something that has fulfilled Nick both spiritually and artistically. Most importantly, it was his way of giving back to his faith. 11 Alive, a local NBC affiliate out of Atlanta, reports on September 24 that Nick lost his job because of his sexuality.
Johns, the son of a deacon and former alter boy, says that he grew up conflicted because his faith did not agree with his sexuality, so he denied who he was.
“When you grow up Catholic, there’s always that teaching being gay is wrong and not natural. It’s the devil working inside of you.”
It is a feeling many Catholic youth face but Johns was able to find acceptance as he was hired as organist shortly after coming out as gay. Johns’ Facebook page in which he posted his support of gay marriage was brought to the attention of the head pastor who cautioned him to make his Facebook page private but when that priest left, another priest took over and warned Johns about his Facebook account.
“And he said ‘I hate to do this over the phone but you’re under suspension facing possible termination due to your Facebook account being in moral dissension with the teachings of the Catholic church.”
When given the choice between termination or resignation, Johns decided to resign from the job he loved because he did not want to be in a place that did not fully love him.
“The Catholic church was my home for my whole life. And this is them telling me that I’m not wanted.”
In the meantime the Chapter of the American Guild of Organists have written to St. Brigid asking for mediation which has not happened. The Guild also filed a complaint against the church.
Nick Johns is currently an interim organist at Rock Spring Presbyterian Church where he says he feels very welcome.