At the Willow Creek Association's Global Leadership Summit this afternoon, senior pastor Bill Hybels confirmed that Howard Schultz withdrew over an online petition calling the Illinois megachurch anti-gay and threatening a boycott. Hybels said the association let the Starbucks CEO out of his contract and he encouraged the summit's attendees (an estimated 165,000, between the main South Barrington campus and 450 other locations) to write encouraging notes to the company and to buy Starbucks coffee and Schultz's new book on leadership. Hybels said he is also trying to meet with the creators of the petition. The full text of his remarks after the video below.
In the last seven days an online petition was started to boycott Starbucks if Howard Schultz did not cancel his signed contract to this event. The issue driving this petition, which so far has been signed by 717 people, is homosexuality. The petition claims that Willow Creek Community Church is anti-gay. Therefore, if the president of ...1