The Rev. Charles Keith, pastor of Victory Church, one of the teams in the St. Clair church softball league, is the president of the St. Clair Ministerial Alliance, a group that meets monthly.

He told The Missourian this week he wanted to clarify a statement the Rev. James Semmelroth Darnell made to another newspaper about the alliance and about the pastors who attend the fellowship meetings.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s online and print version, Darnell said, “They (the alliance) decided they would benefit from an alternate viewpoint.” This statement was made after Darnell also told that newspaper that there was some tension in the local ministerial alliance after he started attending the meetings, but that the members had decided to allow him to remain despite his sexual preference.

“There were tensions in the beginning,” Keith said. “But the alliance agreed to let him fellowship with us.

“But we never said we would benefit from his alternate viewpoint. We did not say that. We told him we had different viewpoints. We told him that we’re all in total agreement against homosexuality. We told him that we would not cross that line.

“We’re an alliance. That’s the key thing. We said we have differing viewpoints and that as far as the alliance we would simply agree to disagree.

“We respect him. We respect his church. We expect him to respect us.”