Palo Alto pastor resigns after series of unsavory tweets

PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- The resignation of Gregory Stevens as associate pastor of First Baptist Church of Palo Alto comes one week after his Twitter account was discussed at a city council meeting. His tweets took shots at old people, the police, and mostly the city itself: from "Palo Alto is an elitest s**t den of hate," to "Palo Alto is disgusting."

"We were horrified. We really couldn't believe it," said Palo Alto Mayor Liz Kniss.

Kniss said the copies of the tweets were delivered to her doorstep by a constituent and that she's delighted to hear that Stevens is no longer with the church, which had been embroiled in a permit struggle over leasing some of its space to outside tenants.

"The tweets were distasteful, they were hateful and they should not be reflective of our community," said Kniss.

The Reverend Rick Mixon, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, agrees that the tweets were in poor taste, but Stevens may have had a valid point.

I think he has a first amendment right to free expression of his opinion or critique so if he could have made that critique in different language, maybe it would have been hospitable to at least some people," said Mixon.

Stevens declined to talk with ABC7 News, but he told the local paper he plans to move to San Francisco.
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