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Christians-only hiring, pride flag ban divides Grand Rapids charity [Video]

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Small Business Funding

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids-based Bethany Christian Services welcomes global refugees to West Michigan, but its staff will no longer reflect the diverse faiths of those it serves.

Target 8 has confirmed that the faith-based social service agency, which receives government funding to provide foster care and refugee services, began enforcing a strict Christians-only hiring mandate several months after the arrival of a new chief executive officer.

Keith Cureton assumed the helm of the 80-year-old charitable institution in July.

According to its website, in 2022 BCS employed nearly 2,000 people worldwide and served 80,400 clients.

Prior BCS leadership had reportedly allowed exceptions to the Christian hiring policy, but Cureton informed staff in late 2023 that there will be no such deviations going forward.

“People were shocked,” said a BCS employee who did not want to be identified. “They couldn’t believe how hard and fast the policy came down. There was no conversation. …

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