Rev. Elder Lillie Brock is the Pastor of Congregational Life at Metropolitan Community Church of Greater St. Louis (MCCGSL). For the last 30 years, Rev. Elder Lillie Brock has been speaking to audiences of all different kinds around the world. Her primary career focus has been on assisting individuals and organizations to move through the challenges of life and organizational changes. She worked as the corporate COO of a franchise seminar company and co-founded the Change Cycle Management Company dedicated to assisting organizations through times of change. After going into professional ministry in 2000, she was a Staff Pastor in a 2,000-member church and served as an Elder in the denomination for 10 years.
Pastor Victoria L. Burson affectionately known as “Pastor V” is Lead Servant and Senior Pastor for Metropolitan Community Church of Baltimore (MCCB). Pastor Victoria L. Burson is a powerful preacher, engaging teacher, innovative leader, and inspiring speaker, empowerment/development coach. She has a deep passion for the people of God and believes that she is divinely positioned to make a difference. Her motto is: “Changed people change people.” Pastor Burson is married to Prophet Theresa Anding, they have an adult daughter Trachena Wallace who resides in Memphis, Tennessee.
Fred Cannady is a lay leader in Metropolitan Community Churches. He has been a member of St. John’s MCC in Raleigh, North Carolina since 2006 where he currently serves as Vice-Moderator of the Board of Directors. In addition, he is Co-Lead of the MCC Carolinas Network. Fred cares deeply about the needs of others and is very passionate about social justice issues. Professionally, he works as a Habilitation Counselor working one on one with those with mental health disabilities. He is also pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Human Services from Walden University.
Rev. Alycia Erickson has served as the pastor at Pikes Peak MCC in Colorado since March 2015. Before her call with Pikes Peak MCC she served as the Pastor of Faith Formation at MCC Austin in Texas, a position she held for six years. She was ordained in MCC in 2010 and has experience with MCC at the international level, including the Board of Pensions, Judiciary Team, and Clergy Well-Being Team. Her passion is helping people connect with God. She is also a passionate advocate for social justice. She is an avid reader, a self-described nerd, and loves to explore new technology. She and her wife Judy have three sons, three dogs, and a cat. They love to camp and explore their new home state of Colorado.
Rev. Wanda Floyd is an ordained clergy person with MCC. She began her journey with MCC at St. John’s MCC in Raleigh, NC in 1987 and served as a member of the former Gulf Lower Atlantic District Committee as lay and then clergy representative. After ten years at St. John’s MCC, she founded Imani MCC in Durham, NC. Currently, she is serving as transitional pastor for MCC Charlotte, NC after having served as transitional pastor for MCC Las Vegas, NV. Rev. Wanda is also a gay activist. She served as co-chair for the North Carolina Coalition for Marriage Equality, was a board member of PFLG and other LGBTQA organizations. Rev. Floyd has also represented the LGBT community in media. She has been able to share her story in multiple books and newspapers, helping educate others on LGBTQA issues and spirituality.
Patrice Ford began singing in church at the age of 3 and has been singing ever since. In grade school, she auditioned for and was accepted into a performing arts school where she studied singing and acting. From there she attended the Hamilton Music Academy and Pete Knight High School where she was active with the Gay/Straight Alliance, graduating in 2008. Patrice found her love of serving the community by helping feed the homeless in the Antelope Valley in California and helping on skid row in Los Angeles. Ms Ford currently attends Founders MCC in Los Angeles, CA and is active with the Young Professionals Ministry and the Azania (People of African Descent and their Friends/Allies) Ministry.
Pastor Cedric Harman is a native Midwesterner with Southern and New England influences—a surprise last child to older parents who shared with him the gift of experience and wisdom. He was a precocious youth excelling academically and religiously at a very early age. In fact, he announced a calling to ministry at age 8 and has been active in church ministry most of his life. He is a licensed and ordained minister affiliated with the Progressive National Baptist Convention, National Missionary Baptist Convention of America, and The Fellowship. Cedric’s deep faith calls him to do the work of justice and equality and equip others to do the same.
Rev. Jakob Hero-Shaw is the senior pastor of the MCC of Tampa, Florida, and is a member of the MCC Governing Board. He coordinates the Transgender Roundtable at the Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies in Religion and is on the faculty of the Transgender Seminarian Cohort. Jakob graduated with his Master of Divinity degree and Certificate in Sexuality and Religion in 2011 from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. Jakob also completed a Master of Arts degree in Ethics and Social Theory in 2012 from the Graduate Theological Union, in Berkeley, and was awarded the 2012 Michael Mendiola Award in Ethics. Jakob’s greatest joy is raising two phenomenal kids with his husband, Allan.
Rev. Elder Dwayne Johnson is Senior Pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Washington, DC. Dwayne has a passion for outreach, justice and equality that is grounded in spiritual development. His ecumenical work includes serving with the Coalition for Mutual Respect from 1996-2009, including a 2006 peace mission to Israel with Muslim, Jewish, and Christian educators and clergy. Currently he serves by mayoral appointment on the Mayor’s Interfaith Council in Washington, DC. In January 2009 he became a member of the Academy for Spiritual Formation, studying with Grace Imathiu, Margaret Guenther, Glenn Hinson and other leaders in the Spiritual Formation movement.
Pastor Lesley Jones is founder and senior pastor of Truth & Destiny Covenant Ministries Fellowship United Church of Christ. She is hailed as a visionary, servant leader who “keeps it real”. She is an animated preacher and profound teacher. When her congregation was asked about her preaching and teaching, they responded, “Pastor can break it down and make it plain.” Pastor Lesley, as she is affectionately called, is friend to and advocate for many in the social justice and human relations communities. As an advocate and organizer, she is doing Jesus and Justice, seeking human rights, fairness, and equality for ALL people.
Rev. Dr. William H. Knight transitioned from actor, singer, producer, writer and director to minister, teacher, and counselor on a Wednesday night when he attended a class being held at the home of legendary singer/actress Della Reese. This first meeting became a relationship that endured for over twenty-three years. In 1995, William was ordained as a minister. He received a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree in Metaphysics from the University of Metaphysics and a Doctor of Divinity Degree from the University of Sedona. In 2007, his spiritual path led him to the welcoming arms of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches. He is currently serving as Provisional Pastor of MCC San Antonio.
Joel Ogburn was born and raised in north Florida, into a spiritually guided and musically talented family. This is where he began crafting his musical gifts. Beginning at the age of 16, Joel had the privilege of sharing God’s good news of unconditional love across this great nation. After spending 10-years on the road full-time and recording 5 albums, he found his calling in the local church. Joel serves as the Director of Music and Creative Communications for King of Peace MCC in Saint Petersburg, Florida. His passion is simple, lifting up the name of Jesus through powerful praise and worship. Joel is married to Ryan and they have a beautiful daughter Abbey and three furry kids Annabelle, Ashton, and Asia.
Valarie C. Parson is a long-time friend of MCC. Valarie is a certified instructor in the Creating a Life That Matters curriculum. She has witnessed first-hand the power of understanding one’s purpose and following one’s passion. She has been both conference and workshop presenter, and she has designed curriculum tailored to the needs of her audience. After serving seven years as a member of Christ Church Unity in Orlando, Florida, Valarie is seeking ministerial ordination through the Unity Movement. Valarie is passionate, thought provoking, and her delivery will move you from the edge of your seat out to the world where possibilities are endless.
Dr. Nii-Quarterlai Quartey began his activism at the age of 13 as a student organizer for Oprah Winfrey’s Angel Network campaign in partnership with Boys and Girls Club of America. This experience, which gave him national exposure on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” sparked the beginning of what has become a purposeful career as an advocate and change maker. Nii-Quartelai has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science with a Minor Degree in Critical Approaches to Leadership from the University of Southern California, a Master of Arts Degree in Social Entrepreneurship & Change from Pepperdine University, and recently earned a Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership, also from Pepperdine University.
Dr. Carla Sherrell has been a social justice leader for over 30 years as a counselor, educator, a(n) diversity/equity facilitator and consultant, and now as an In-Formation member of the MCC community. She is an Assistant Professor in the Naropa University Graduate School of Counseling and Psychology Somatic Counseling Department where her work focuses on infusing social justice in all aspects of counselor/psychotherapist education and practice, and throughout university structures, policies, practices, and procedures. In private practice, Dr. Sherrell is a social justice consultant working regionally and nationally supporting educational institutions, other non-profits, and businesses in becoming vibrant socially just communities within and across sociocultural group affiliations/locations.
Rev. Dr. Roland Stringfellow is licensed with the Metropolitan Community Church and United Church of Christ.Currently he is the Senior Pastor of Metropolitan Community Church Detroit and also works with congregations on LGBTQ inclusion as the Director of Ministerial Outreach for the African-American Roundtable, a program of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Sexuality on the campus of Pacific School of Religion. Rev. Dr. Stringfellow has been consulted by media outlets regarding his work on marriage equality and religious liberty and the role people of color and communities of faith play in this national debate.
Rev. Pressley Sutherland serves as MCC’s Associate Director of Church Life and Health. He was ordained in 1998 and has worked globally in local and denominational ministries and human rights initiatives. He recently served as Interim Pastor with MCC of Tampa and MCC Greater Saint Louis, receiving the Ed Paul Award for Excellence in Transitional Ministry. He served as an Interim Pastor with Northern Lights MCC, Newcastle, UK; Senior Pastor with Good Hope MCC, Cape Town, South Africa; and MCC North London, UK; and Assistant Pastor with MCC New York, USA. A native Appalachian from Virginia, Pressley has degrees from Union Theological Seminary in NYC (M.Div.) and the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music (BFA: Musical Theatre). He also completed foundational studies in psychosynthesis.
Marvell L. Terry II was raised in Memphis, Tennessee and is the Founder of The Red Door Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization focused on improving the health outcomes of Black LGBTQ men. He currently resides in Washington, D.C. where he is the first HIV & AIDS Project Manager for the Human Rights Campaign. Marvell currently serves as an Organizing Member of the Young Black Gay Leadership Initiative. The Young Black Gay Men’s Leadership Initiative (YBGLI) is a national movement of young Black men addressing issues disproportionately affecting its peers, with a particular focus on HIV prevention, care and treatment and a member of the AVAC PxRoar Program.
Rev. Gwen Thomas is an avowed Liberation Theologian and Womanist. She is ordained by the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries and the United Church of Christ. Gwen serves as an associate minister at Rehoboth Fellowship Atlanta UCC. Gwen is on the governing board of two womanist/ feminist organizations: WomanPreach! Inc and Women Healing Women, Inc. She is a member of the African American Working Group for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Creating Change Conference. She is the author of a book called The S.H.E. Experience and is a regular blogger for the Huffington Post. She has a Masters of Education Degree in Adult Education and Development and a Certificate of Theology. She has one adult son, a daughter-in-love, and four grandchildren.
Naomi Washington-Leapheart, a daughter of Detroit, is a minister, educator, organizer, and organizational consultant. She earned the Master of Divinity degree from Lancaster Theological Seminary in 2016. While at Lancaster, Naomi was a Presidential Scholar and received awards for preaching and worship. Naomi is the Faith Work Director for the National LGBTQ Task Force. She also is a member of the Theology and Religious Studies faculty at Villanova University. She delights in singing with the Philly Threshold Choir, a group whose mission is to bring audible comfort and kindness to people facing transitions, including those in recovery and hospice.
Rev. Doretha Williams-Flournoy was ordained in 2006. Prior to ordination she served as a worship leader and coordinator in a variety of settings, churches, concerts, and conferences. She has participated in the planning and implementation of three PAD conferences. This year, she is excited to serve as the PAD Worship Team Leader, providing support to a team of very talented and dedicated people called to create a unique worship experience that ushers us all into deeper communion with each other and the Creator. Her most cherished accomplishment is that of being mother and now grandmother, providing a launch pad for another generation of incredible people.
Dr. David Williams, M.D., M.P.H was born in Kingston, Jamaica where he completed his primary and secondary school education. Upon immigrating to the United States he completed his undergraduate studies in biology/biochemical engineering. Since graduating from medical school, he has worked as an emergency/trauma medicine physician and surgeon in the US and several overseas locales. He was also a project/program director in employee health and safety for a number of major telecom equipment manufacturers and providers. David was initially baptized Anglican and then grew up in his grandmother’s Pentecostal church. David started attending MCC Christ the Liberator in 2008 after searching for a church home for a number of years.