Welcome to FaithAutopsy.com.
I started this blog during the summer of 2009, when my life exploded.
Back-up a few months… in April of 2009, I remember hanging out with a close friend at one of my favorite pubs in Northeast Connecticut, the Bidwell Pub. There are no better chicken wings in the world, and it is a great place to hang out.
We were talking and I remember saying, “I love my life. I wouldn’t trade it with anyone in the world.”
At that time, I was the Lead and co-founding pastor of a fast-growing, dynamic, alive, exciting and growing church. We had grown from a handful of folks meeting in a living room to over 250 in weekly attendance in less than five years. We were looking at launching a second campus, were knee-deep in purchasing property for a potential $15 million building project. I was working with my best friend and had a great faith community around me. And more importantly, people were meeting Christ for the first time, getting baptized, taking significant next steps spiritually. We were seeing people healed, lives transformed, and missionaries sent out.
Don’t get me wrong… it wasn’t a perfect church. None exist. But it was a really good church. And I would have happily lead that church the rest of my days.
Fast forward a couple of months: within one week, I lost my ministry, job, income, home, best friends, faith community and church. My life literally exploded.
I was outed for being gay by a member of the congregation who was both a very close friend and also gay. While our relationship was primarily a rich, deep and authentic friendship, I had also developed a romantic and sexual interest in him — and on a few occasions we engaged in mutual, consensual sexual activity.
As these revelations came out, I was forced to resign from the church and pretty much lost everything.
All of this information, with good reason, shocked and rocked the church. A lot of damage was done, and for that I am deeply sorry. There were multiple issues all tangled together. In a conservative evangelical context, there are few sins greater than being gay. But also, in the church world, it is rightfully considered professional misconduct to have any sexual relations with a member of your congregation. And while all this was happening, the church was experiencing financial challenge (as the rest of the country was!).
While it must of felt like a bomb went off for those at the church, for me it was something even bigger… worse… more difficult. For 17 years as a Christian — and with 10 years of it in full time ministry — I had worked so hard to hide my sexuality from the world… and deny it to myself. It is hard to overstate the destructive power of maintaining that kind of secret for 17 years.
So this blog tracks my journey forward from the moment my life changed forever.
It is an open window… unedited. Raw, authentic, real. Sometimes disturbing. Sometimes TMI (too much info). Sometimes funny and encouraging and thoughtful. And hopefully, for some, helpful.
If you read from the beginning, you will get a real sense of my journey — and how God has been working in me along the way. But you can dive in anywhere or even just start following now.
I have to say that when I go back and read some of the posts from the few months after everything came out, I have mixed reactions. Sometimes I am encouraged by how far I have come. Sometimes I am impressed by the perspective I had. Often I am disappointed in what I wrote. I don’t stand by all of it, but it is what it is. It is part of my journey. No hiding anymore. No facades. Embracing transparency.
This blog is a snapshot of my story. It is a story that is still being written. I don’t now the next chapter… and today, I can honestly say that I am okay with that.
Here is what I know today: I am HIS and the banner over me is love.
Embraced by Grace & the Cross,