A Texas megachurch said it is "deeply saddened" by allegations from a former volunteer who said she was dismissed because she is a Jewish lesbian.
Calvary Houston garnered headlines after a woman named Carmen Hix claimed the church refused to let her volunteer with their Hurricane Harvey relief efforts due to her religious beliefs and sexual orientation.
In a statement posted to its Facebook page on Monday, Calvary Houston argued that it does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or belief.
"For the last twenty-six years, the heart of Calvary Houston has been to reach out and share the love of Christ to all people, regardless of race, sexual orientation, religion, etc," stated Calvary Houston.
"[W]e are deeply saddened that one volunteer has called into question our love for those of different sexual orientation and beliefs."
Calvary Houston went on to note that it had "personally met with this individual to try and clear up any misconceptions," even inviting the volunteer and her partner to church "so that she could see the love of Christ and the love of our church."
"We've prepared and served over 100,000 meals in the last two weeks since the flooding, cleaned out many hundreds of homes, and provided food and supplies through our food pantry to those who have suffered devastating loss," the church noted.
"In order to do to a work of this magnitude, the Lord has blessed us with well over 700 volunteers. We are so grateful for these volunteers who have selflessly given of the their time to care for the needs of others."
Earlier this month, Hix posted a comment on Facebook saying that she had been "fired" after a few days of volunteering with Calvary Houston when church officials learned she was not Christian.
"I was 'FIRED' from volunteering because I identify as Jewish (discovering my Jewish heritage recently) and would not say that I was Christian when called into the 'Principal's Office' by the Head of their food pantry," posted Hix.
"I told Pastor 'Ron' that when they called me to volunteer, they didn't bother to ask me to check or not check those boxes...Jewish and Lesbian. Told him...'When you needed me, it didn't matter. Now that you're dwindling down the operation, it seems to matter.' He gave me the the tired 'blah, blah, blah' that Pastors have a tendency to do. 'We can't let you represent our church, as being a Lesbian is a sin...' I let him know he should be ashamed to call himself a Christian."
She then urged others not to contribute to any Calvary Church "UNLESS YOU FEEL THAT BEING JEWISH OR GAY DISQUALIFIES ONE FROM TRYING TO HELP THOSE LESS FORTUNATE THAN YOURSELF. (You know that Christian Mantra...do onto others...etc). Just sayin'..."
Calvary Houston's Monday statement did not detail the specific misconceptions in Hix's account of the events, though in an interview with local media Lead Pastor Ron Hindt denied that he ever said she could not volunteer.
For her part, Hix said on her Facebook page that she is willing "to take and pay for a lie detector test," insisting that the church is not telling the truth about the incident.