Lydia Meredith (Photo Credit: DeWayne Rogers for Steed Media Service)

Lydia Meredith (Photo Credit: DeWayne Rogers for Steed Media Service)

I was one of those preachers’ wives who sat in the pew on many a Sunday morning while my “real” life was a fraud. i discovered several years into my marriage that my husband was cheating on me–with men–numerous men. (And women too, I later found out). But I stayed. I stayed through the broken promises and the humiliation because I believed and hoped that things got better. I watched my husband stand in that pulpit on Sunday morning, preaching one message and living out yet another. I needed answers.

The first place I turned to for answers were God. I prayed. I wept. I prayed. I wept. I prayed and I wept. God woke me at 3 a.m. I sat straight up in the middle of my bed. … What did Jesus really say about homosexuality? What was Jesus’ message about gays?

I prayed my entire young life for God to send me a husband–God Always answers my prayers–why did I end up marrying a gay man? 

This excerpt is taken from a book written by Lydia Meredith who spent nearly 30 years of her life married to Reverend Dennis A. Meredith. In Meredith’s deeply personal memoir, The Gay Preacher’s Wife: How My Gay Husband Deconstructed My Life and Reconstructed My Faith, readers will find out how a woman’s broken heart is mended by faith.

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When this writer met Meredith for the interview, I shared with her that being a native of Atlanta, I found it strange that I’d never heard her story. I was familiar with the recent and highly publicized scandal at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church where their leader Bishop Eddie Long in 2010 was accused in a lawsuit of buying young men lavish gifts and cars, and giving them money in exchange for sex.

But her story was a mystery to me. It wasn’t that I doubted her credibility. It was more of a shock that she was so gracious to a man who betrayed her and her family, and she kept quiet.

“I loved my husband … I still love him,” she tells me as I stare in amazement.

In 2006, Rev. Meredith told Lydia he was in love with another man. “He left me for another man. He told me he wanted to live the rest of his life as a gay man,” she shares. “At that time, I didn’t know he was in a relationship with a man, a man that he’d fallen in love with. Most of the time when we were in therapy discussing his struggles with same-sex relationships, it was never a relationship; it was always [just] sex. This particular time it was very different. He had fallen in love with a man.”

It was a revelation that was years in the making. Lydia knew of her husband’s infidelity and bisexuality, but it wasn’t enough to make her leave him and break up her family.

The infidelity alone wasn’t enough to make her leave her husband. Lydia wanted her marriage to survive the infidelity. It wasn’t until he left her from 2005 to 2008 that she filed for divorce. He had abandoned her. She was left with no other choice but to wake up and start a new journey. “I filed for divorce. He wasn’t happy about it. The infidelity didn’t cause me to leave my marriage. I felt there was nothing in my marriage that couldn’t be fixed.”

As we continued the interview, I realized I actually interviewed her former husband a few years ago and found him to be a solid individual with a profound understanding of the teachings of the Bible. We concluded that we both have a great deal of respect for him and condemning him was not our goal.

Lydia, who has managed to step outside the box of pain and see things from a different perspective rooted in love, says she is telling her story not only for women, but also for men: “to inspire people to walk in truth and lead to a deeper understanding and loving relationship with God.”

Lydia Meredith is the founder of Beacon of Hope, Inc.—Renaissance Learning Center, with a mission to strengthen families and communities and lift poor children and their families out of poverty.

The Gay Preacher’s Wife: How My Gay Husband Deconstructed My Life and Reconstructed My Faith is now available for purchase.

Atlanta church first lady’s husband and son come out as gay

Yvette Caslin

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  • Likewaterforchoc

    Ahhh, the black church. I no longer attend, but I remember people used to tell you that you could find a good man/woman in church, lo.

  • hidaya

    Sadly, she loved him way more than she loved herself. I wonder what her HIV status is….

    • Michelle

      She is HIV NEGATIVE. MOM IS FINE AND MORE PERFECT THAN EVER.

      • Robin Carter

        Good she is negative. Hope all goes well for her. He will suffer just like Eddie Long. You cannot be a preacher and be a homosexual. God gone get him. Your mom needs to go to God and ask for forgiveness cause she stayed with him after finding out. She needs to seriously talk to God about it if she has’nt already. She has to cleanse herself. Good Luck to you all, and may God be with you.

  • nosey rosy

    look like hell got a bargain 2 complete demon in love with dishonoring gods word she is just as twisted as he god dont ask us to be fools and hide truth both her and her man knew the vow were from god and i would not wanna stand near them in a lightening storm

    • http://jvz9.com/c/98725/218991 Smarter Dias

      But thankfully she left. He desecrated their marriage and the meaning of marriage. She stayed hoping it would work out. Blaming the victim of this man’s treachery does no good.

    • Robin Carter

      Loved your statement.

  • Audrey Beanie Green

    This type of shit turns my stomach i hope they all burn in hell ! IM SERIOUS @

  • Yaoigirl1

    More power to her, it takes a strong person to do what she is now doing. Easy to say what we would have done in her situation but we are not her, she is not us. I know I don’t think I could have lived with someone knowing they cheated repeatedly with men and women, and leave me hoping and praying that things would work out. The resentment factor alone would be intolerable. Man had better sleep with one eye open because “Oops, did I stab you with that knife repeatedly? My bad, it will not happen again– just a little slip”.
    I know my faith in man is not that strong, but good for her, this is her journey to take any way she deems needed.

  • Robin Carter

    I feel so sorry for women when they find out that their husbands are gay especially when they are Pastors. This kind of stuff is going on alot. These men are not men of God they are men of Satan. Gods word speaks against homosexuality not for it. As soon as these woman find out that their man is homosexual they continue to stay. It is an abomination, and worse than sin. These women need to get their Bible and read the word of God. You condem your soul, and spirit to hell by staying and committing abomination also. I hope other women in this situation get out of the situation ASAP. You are dealing with flesh, soul, and spirit, and Hell is waiting on you also for staying. Once your in Hell you cannot get out. It is an abomination. Read your Bible.