Pastor steps down over 'Bruce Jenner is still a man' church sign

(Photo: Facebook/Justin Hoke)

The pastor of a church in northern California has resigned after posting a controversial sign saying that transgender reality star Caitlyn Jenner was still a man. 

The controversial sign was placed outside Trinity Bible Presbyterian Church in Weed, Siskiyou County, by its pastor Justin Hoke.  

It read: 'Bruce Jenner is still a man. Homosexuality is still sin. The culture may change but the Bible does not.'

Bruce Jenner, a one-time Olympian and former star of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, has gone by the name of Caitlyn Jenner since coming out as transgender in 2015. 

Hoke, married father-of-three posted a picture of the sign to his Facebook page on New Year's Eve, sparking backlash from members of the LGBT community. 

Protesters held a 'Love Rally' outside the church before its weekly services and the church sign was also vandalised. 

After making international headlines, Pastor Hoke announced over the weekend that he was leaving the church. 

In a statement posted to Facebook, the pastor said he did not want to quit but had made the decision to resign after being informed that members of the church would leave so long as he stayed. 

'As of today, I am no longer the pastor of Trinity Bible Presbyterian Church,' he said. 

After apparently being told that 'those who left would likely return if I would leave', he said 'it was determined that it would be in the best interest of the local body for us (TBPC and the Hoke family) to part ways'.

'I would like to add this, I did not want to leave, I did not quit, and I was willing to stay,' he added. 

He later updated his page to turn down offers of financial support, saying he didn't want to 'use this 5 minutes of fame as a chance to capitalize on the sympathy and good will of others'.

'The Lord has taken care of my needs,' he said. 

'Please pray that God would open more doors for me to preach the gospel, that is all I want or need.'

Lifestyle