A man, who was formerly a transgender woman, has spoken out to defend pastor Kim Burrell following the backlash against her sermon denouncing homosexuality in the church.
Orhonde Chapman, 24, said that he experienced love and acceptance when he attended Burrell's Life and Liberty Fellowship Church as a cross-dressing, openly gay high school student, CBN News reported.
He believes that the accusations calling Burrell homophobic were unfair because she accepted him into the church and provided him with support.
"I got to see her heart. I believe had she been homophobic or had she been against gays or anything at the time me being openly gay she wouldn't have supported me. She wouldn't have helped me," Chapman told CBN.
"I think the opposition is coming from a misconception or the wrong perception of what she said, She was in a sermon preaching the word of God. It was taken out of context and flipped into something else," he added.
Chapman gained media attention in 2009 when he was sent home from school for wearing a wig. The officials said that he violated the school dress code.
He recalled a church service when he considered himself delivered after Burrell prayed with him.
"I went to her broken. I went to her you know, needing somebody and she always had positive things to say to me," he narrated.
Chapman said that he occasionally received biblical correction from Burrell, but it was always done in a loving manner.
Burrell posted a series of videos on Facebook in response to the backlash. She insisted that she was addressing the church, and she never specifically mentioned the LGBT community. She also pointed out that the clip was not the entirety of her sermon, and she asserted that it was edited to make it seem like she had a personal agenda.
Burrell, who is also a gospel singer, was supposed to perform with Pharrell Williams on Ellen DeGeneres' show, but it was canceled after the video clip of her sermon went viral. Her show, "Bridging the Gap with Kim Burrell," on Texas Southern University's KTSU radio station was pulled off the air following the backlash. She was also prevented from participating in the BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Honors.