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December 18, 2013 at 3:47 PM

Ken Hutcherson, pastor and former Seahawk, dies at 61

Pastor Ken Hutcherson.

Pastor Ken Hutcherson. (Photo by Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)

Ken “The Hutch” Hutcherson, 61, a Redmond pastor who played for the Seahawks from 1976 to 1977 and made waves with his opposition to gay rights and gay marriage, died shortly before noon today. He had battled prostate cancer for more than a decade.

Hutcherson, who spoke often about the racial oppression he endured growing up in the South, was senior pastor of Antioch Bible Church — a multiracial, but predominantly white church, where he earned the support of many of his congregants.

His church’s slogan was “Black and White in a Gray World.” Colleagues said that summed up his conviction that Christians from all ethnicities, social and economic backgrounds should feel comfortable worshiping together and his belief that God’s word is immutable and unchanging even in a murky world.

His supporters described him as a funny and happy person — remaining jovial even through prostate cancer — who had been mischaracterized as a hate-filled preacher.

His detractors, however, mostly in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community,  considered him a bully who used religion to campaign against the rights of gays to marry.

| Topics: Antioch Bible Church, Ken Hutcherson, Seahawks

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