Prayer service held for ousted church group leader

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HICKSVILLE -

A prayer service was held Wednesday for the Rev. Dyanne Pina at the United Methodist Church in Hicksville two weeks after she was ousted from her position as the executive director of the Long Island Council of Churches.

Pina, who held the position for just over a year, says she was told that the organization was not financially stable enough to keep her $81,000 a year position on the books.

The Rev. Marjorie Nunes says she was a board member for Long Island Council of Churches for close to four years and a member of the finance committee. Last weekend she resigned.

"I felt I needed to step down because I can no longer operate on a board that I don't trust," she says. 

Parishioners at the prayer service say Pina is most recognized for her work in shutting down the council's Freeport food pantry after discovering some awful conditions there. Pina told News 12 Long Island that the airing of "dirty laundry" regarding the food pantry may have disturbed some council members. 

Pina wouldn't say specifically if she thought her firing was based on gender or race, but did say that "the four members of the executive committee…they're older males" and that she believes they didn't like "the way I was moving." 

The vice chair of the council's Board of Directors tells News 12 that the decision to eliminate the position was based on a restructuring effort focused on the council's finances.

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