US Presbyterian church ordains openly gay minister

By the Associated Press | October 8, 2011 | 8:35 PM EDT

The Rev. Scott Anderson, facing camera, is greeted following his ordination ceremony in Madison, Wis. on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011. Anderson became the first openly gay person to be ordained to the ministry of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the largest Presbyterian denomination. (AP Photo/Wisconsin State Journal/Craig Schreiner)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has officially ordained a 56-year-old Wisconsin man as its first openly gay minister.

Scott Anderson of Madison was ordained Saturday at Covenant Presbyterian Church during a ceremony attended by hundreds of supporters.

He said he never thought the day would come and he told WISC-TV he's humbled and grateful for the opportunity.

Anderson served as a minister in Sacramento, Calif., from 1983 to 1990. He was in the closet, but when a couple threatened to reveal he was gay he came out to his congregation and then resigned.

But the situation changed last year when the Presbyterian national assembly agreed to remove a ban on homosexuals serving as ministers, clearing the way for his ordination.

Supporter Nancy Enderle says the ordination was an "uplifting, joyful gathering."