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(RNS) The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has denied the
claims of a black former employee who filed suit, alleging she was fired
after expressing concern that the ministry was not sufficiently reaching
out to African-American churches.

The racial discrimination lawsuit by Kimberly McCallum was moved
Wednesday (Sept. 2) from a local court to a federal court, the
Associated Press reported.

In response, the association issued a statement confirming the suit
and saying it works to be inclusive.

“We cannot discuss the specifics of the pending case, except to
state that we disagree with the allegations in the lawsuit,” said the
association, which is based in Charlotte, N.C. “The BGEA provides equal
employment opportunities to people of all races. The organization
continues to be inclusive of all people regardless of race, gender or
nationality in all of the ministry’s activities worldwide.”

The suit was filed in June in a Mecklenburg County (N.C.) court, but
was moved to a U.S. District Court in Charlotte.

According to the AP, the suit says McCallum complained that a list
of 635 prospective congregations for a BGEA program included only three
that were predominantly black. She said she was fired a week later due
to downsizing. She seeks back pay, damages and job reinstatement.

“Subsequent to her discharge, plaintiff learned that the global
offices had not been downsized and that the only job that was eliminated
there was the one occupied by the plaintiff,” the suit reads.

Adelle M. Banks

Copyright 2009 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of
this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written
permission.

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