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You surrender your sexuality to Christ. Follow Jesus. Seek purity. Honor scripture. Earn multiple degrees — including a Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Many churches would consider such an individual to be a tremendous asset on their ministry team. In reality, this story ends with a highly-credentialed servant of God being terminated unjustly.

The “Perfect Candidate”

On paper, Ray has been described by pastors in New York City as a “perfect candidate” — with pastoral experience both at the congregational and the youth level, two master’s degrees with Latin honors, and a wide diversity of ancillary skills including music, digital media, and writing.

These very pastors now hesitate when they learn that the congregation is talking about Ray’s story of growing up attracted to other men.

Despite a powerful testimony about learning the meaning of surrender to the Lord in all areas of his life, Ray’s story continues to involuntarily set him back as a candidate in the eyes of pastoral search committees.

No matter how faithful, passionate, and devoted to the Lord a person like Ray demonstrates himself to be, prejudice continues to follow him wherever he goes.

Complete Surrender met with Termination

Even though Ray follows Christ in his sexuality, aligns with the church’s beliefs on marriage and sexuality, and made it clear during the interview process about his struggle, the parents of the church pressured the other pastors into letting Ray go.

Sadly, a decision to hire quickly transformed into a determination to fire. Ray’s attempts at inviting conversation, dialogue, and understanding were met with closed ears.

A Call to Pastors: How You Can Help Ray

As president of Lead Them Home, I work with thousands of “posture shift” pastors around the country. Ray continues to sense a calling that New York City is the place God wants him to serve.

I am calling upon all pastors and church leaders to mobilize an effort to share Ray’s story with every New York City church leader you know.

Ray is looking for and hopes to find a congregation of people to serve in New York City. He will need church leaders who have a commitment to stand up for him when congregational members make quick judgments. Ray is a humble servant (one of the most humble people I know) who is highly committed to fulfilling the mission of the Church to make disciples of all nations and all peoples.

“Posture shift” pastors: let’s deliver a load of referrals for Ray. To request Ray’s resume, simply contact us. Thank you for your help!

Meg Baatz
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