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Man Dies after Using Drugs at Ferndale Chaplain's House

A 43-year-old Lincoln Park resident died after taking drugs at the home of a Ferndale police chaplain and pastor at a local LGBT-community church.

Mark Bidwell, a Ferndale chaplain and pastor at the , is under fire after a 43-year-old Lincoln Park resident died last week after taking drugs at the chaplain's home.

Steven Michael Fitch, 43, died about 5:30 a.m. Sept. 21 at the Bidwell’s house in the 2700 block of Burdette, the Daily Tribune is reporting.

Bidwell is a pastor at the LGBT community Metropolitan Community Church licenses a space at . The two are separate, however, and have separate congregations. He is also one of several chaplains for the Ferndale Police Department.

“Based on the information we have it is sufficient to determine he (Bidwell) is not a person we want associated with our department,” Ferndale Police Lt. Detective William Wilson told the Tribune.

Criminal charges for Bidwell are unlikely, the department said.

Correction: This brief was updated for clarity.

RAM September 29, 2011 at 06:39 AM
Great job, chaplin! How's that diversity working out for you Ferndale?
Mark Blackwell September 29, 2011 at 10:37 AM
It wasn't the "diversity" that killed the guy, you opportunistic, bigoted dimwit. It was drug abuse.
ken merhar September 29, 2011 at 12:42 PM
I agree with you Mark. Unfortunately, the guy was addicted to drugs
R.L. September 29, 2011 at 01:23 PM
Watchdogs missed that one (@/@) !!!
Margaret Rayburn September 29, 2011 at 02:17 PM
Actually, our diversity is working out just fine, thank you. If you were to step outside of your limited, bigoted head, you may see the beauty that resides in a diverse, accepting community. Bottom line: A fairly young man has died of drug use. Are you seriously proud of your post?! Shame on you! BTW, it's "chaplain", not "chaplin."
RAM September 29, 2011 at 04:49 PM
My post had nothing to do with "bigotry" and everything to do with the fact that some apparently believe it's acceptable for a supposed moral and community leader to score dope and anonymous sex, have someone OD at their house, and face no serious consequences. In the rush to be tolerant and accepting, some problems were apparently overlooked. Those were some big mean words Mark, did I bring up bad memories?
Terry Parris Jr. September 29, 2011 at 05:52 PM
The overdose of a man in Bidwell's home has nothing to do with diversity in Ferndale. I don't want to see this conversation escalate to where comments are deleted.
RAM September 29, 2011 at 06:29 PM
My last post disappeared. So Mark gets to personally attack me and I'm not allowed to respond?
Thomas Gagne September 30, 2011 at 12:54 AM
True, Terry, Mr. Fitch's death had nothing to do with diversity. Stefan's second post was probably closer to what he originally intended than his first, or was at least less ambiguous. Regardless, epithets weren't warranted.
Thomas Gagne September 30, 2011 at 02:39 AM
A poster at Between-the-lines didn't bother ignoring the elephant in the room when he expressed his frustration with a minister reinforcing every negative gay stereotype sans involving minors. Other posters expressed similar sentiments or sympathy. While none of us is perfect, all of us are responsible for our choices and behavior. In a single too-close-to-home story we're reminded of the consequences of promiscuity, drug use, and hypocrisy. I would like to think that those that did know Mr. Bidwell and the other men tried to discourage their drug use and using the internet for one-night stands. After getting over the initial shock, I can imagine the volunteers at MAPP/MAC want to slap Mr. Bidwell upside the head for ignoring what they've been trying to educate the LGBTQ community about sine 1988. Apparently, that job isn't done yet. Or perhaps this story will punctuate their message in-time to help others make better decisions. I hope it's the latter.
Mark Blackwell September 30, 2011 at 11:19 AM
What a shame, that once again drug abuse or any other social or personality disorder is linked to someone's sexuality as though there's some sort of cause and effect. The only commonality between the subjects when it appears in a comments section is ignorance. Mr. Bidwell is A) a pastor ... who B) happens to be gay, that C) allowed drug use in his home. None of those three has anything to do with another. And the stretch of logic in trying to connect them speaks more about the commenter than it does about the story. This frankly isn't any different that trying to connect homosexuality with pedophilia. And a disingenuous person doesn't even need to necessarily state it flat out. All they have to do is passive-aggressively bring both up in the same paragraph, and the morons in the audience will do the rest. Usually the commenter knows that full well.
Mark Blackwell September 30, 2011 at 12:45 PM
And by the way, what the poster at BTL was expressing frustration with, was that this story would only serve to bring about the kinds of bigoted, stereotyping comments that we see in this very thread of comments. Not the fact that he's gay, and allowed drug use in his home. But the guaranteed onslaught of ignorance the rest of us would have to endure because of the story breaking at all.
Carrie Bell September 30, 2011 at 12:55 PM
Mark I have lost your email address so I could not contact you that way. Please contact me if you still have mine. I am so very very sorry to hear about what happened in your home. It is such a tragic loss when someone's life ends because of an addiction. I find it so sad when some people find it necessary to try and bring more loss and tragedy into a situation where it does not belong. Some people find it necessary to force their opinions of the world through these kind of tragic circumstances and put blame on others where it does not belong. Your life style or the city you live in have nothing to do with this horrible loss. A human being was taken out of this world do to a horrible addiction and that is it. People need to mind their own business and their own lives especially when they were not involvied in the situation and could not and do not know the whole story. Please stay strong and know you have so so so many people who believe in you and care about you. Please take care of yourself....hold your head up high.....and keep the faith. Love Carrie
Mark Blackwell September 30, 2011 at 01:27 PM
Thanks for the kind and loving sentiment, Carrie. But it wasn't my home this fellow died in. Technically, I'm also not minding my own business about a situation I wasn't involved in as much as anyone else in here. I just happen to be right, and they happen to be wrong, that's all.
Jim Routhier September 30, 2011 at 08:06 PM
Why am I not surprised that Tom Gagne would try and make political hay out of what is a drug overdose. The sexuality of the people involved has nothing to do with the death, nor does any supposed "promiscuity".
Mark Blackwell September 30, 2011 at 10:21 PM
Well to some scripture-poppers any sex a homosexual has is promiscuous. It wouldn't matter if they lived in Vermont and had the deed to do the deed.
Michael Kohl October 01, 2011 at 05:24 PM
Seems to me there are preachy bullies on both sides of this one.
LeRoy Jefferson October 01, 2011 at 08:14 PM
The good Rev. cruised online for a random hookup, allowed drug use in his home, and was an active participant, and someone is dead as a result. A blatant lack of personal responsibility and self-control for a man of the cloth. He can and should be charged with involuntary manslaughter, but likely isn't because the velvet mafia that runs this town won't have it.

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