“It is certain that man never achieves a clear knowledge of himself unless he has first looked upon God’s face, and then descends from contemplating Him to scrutinize himself.”John Calvin (Institutes 1.1.2)
Shortly after moving to Redding, California I sat in the sanctuary at Bethel Church and asked the Lord, “Does it offend you when I ask for things… when I ask to be fulfilled?” Immediately I was impressed that there is purpose in our journey to wholeheartedness. It is an adventure in discovering our identity as bearers of God’s image. I committed to living authentically and unashamed before the Lord, which has become a gateway to more clearly perceiving both God and myself. A dynamic part of the journey has been understanding my experience of homosexuality.
Both the “condemning church” (who reject and accuse homosexuals) and the “affirming church “ (who accept and encourage homosexuality) are doing so much harm. Fear and confusion surrounding homosexuality often blocks us from truly seeing these beautiful people who are simply striving to be complete. Many silently struggle within the church, while others feel entirely rejected; but God extends His unconditional love to bring wholeness and new life.
My ministry seeks to compassionately offer hope and encouragement to those who have been impacted by homosexuality. Through vulnerable conversations and thought-provoking messages, I seek to demystify the homosexual experience and extend an invitation to touch God, who fills our yearning for identity, community and intimate connection—fundamental needs for one who experiences same sex attraction.
Won’t you join me in the journey?
I “came out” in my early 20s and attended a Presbyterian Church (USA) seminary openly lesbian. As a student in seminary between 2000 and 2003 I lobbied for marriage and ordination of LGTBQ individuals and ministered among gay youth, espousing a theology that embraced homosexuality. Upon graduating I served as a youth pastor in a small rural community, where an encounter with Jesus radically shifted my perspective. The love of God drew me into a revelation that led to repentance and healing. I married my husband, Doug, in 2005.
Today I serve at Bethel Church in Redding, California, where I co-founded Equipped to Love, a ministry seeking to serve and equip those impacted by homosexuality. I am a professional life coach and teach coaching skills to emerging leaders at the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. Through Visibility I facilitate interactive conversations about homosexuality and provide pastoral care to those impacted. I hold a Masters in Theology and am an ordained pastor.
Watch me share my story at Bethel School of Ministry.
Elizabeth’s testimony and ministry brings hope for supernatural transformation from life dominating issues. With great grace and power she demonstrates how connection to the love of God reveals true identity, setting us free to be who we really are.’Phil & Heather Read, The Lighthouse Church, Poole, UK