FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — A mega church in Cumberland County is moving to cut ties with the Boy Scouts of America.
The move comes nearly a month after the century-old organization said it would allow transgender youths to participate in its programs.
Church officials at Manna Church have been very tight-lipped about this decision.
However, a Cub Scout leader told CBS North Carolina that Manna Church participation with Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts would end this coming summer.
Boy Scout Troop 957 is currently chartered under Manna Church.
The church has at least five locations in Cumberland County and more than 9,300 members.
News that they’ll no longer be participating in Boy Scout activities has caught some by surprise.
“I think they’re missing out on an opportunity to minister….they don’t have fathers, don’t have mentors to look up to,” said Melissa Groenhoff of Cumberland County.
Last month, Boy Scouts of America announced anyone identifying as a boy on their application can now participate in all Scout programs.
Derrick Montgomery is pastor of Blessed Family of God.
He says the majority of his members are gay. Montgomery calls the decision by Manna Church “unfortunate.”
“It’s sad and disappointing — as a community based program we have to service all,” Montgomery.
It’s not clear how the church will transition from its scouting participation.
For parents, the man concern is how kids will be impacted.
Scouting officials released a statement from Effie Delimarkos, director of communications, Boy Scouts of America:
“The Boy Scouts of America deeply appreciates our religious partners and are heartened by their commitment to Scouting. Our religious chartered organizations continue to have the right to make decisions based on religious beliefs and we will work with families to find local Scouting units that are the best fit for their children. If a religious organization declines to accept a youth or adult application based on their religious beliefs, we ask that they please notify their local council so that a unit open to accepting the individual can be offered as an option.”