Rev. Dr. Rodney Sadler: "All people are worthy of God's love."

A new video series highlights Black LGBT-affirming pastors in the south. Today, Many Voices, a Black church movement for LGBT justice, launched the first video, featuring Rev. Dr. Rodney Sadler, Jr., a straight-identified Associate Professor of Bible at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Rev. Dr. Rodney Sadler, Jr. for the Many Voices Video Campaign from Many Voices on Vimeo.

“All people are worthy of God’s love,” says Rev. Sadler. “In essence, sex is at the core of the biblical message. Our fear of sexuality is inconsistent with the biblical text. Our job is not to keep people away…our job is to be open in our welcome.” 

Future interviews will include Rev. Reggie Longcrier, Executive Director of prison ministry Exodus Missionary Outreach Church and Rev. Dr. Terence Leathers, Pastor, Mount Vernon Christian Church.

Each interview captures experiences from ally voices of faith that undermine the misconception that Black pastors are monolithically homophobic. The videos also illuminate how African Americans can be both religious and supportive of LGBT people, and that being LGBT-affirming can be consistent with one’s faith.

“Each pastor partaking in this powerful platform talks from a place of religious grounding, and their understanding of scripture harmoniously informs their understanding of LGBT acceptance,” says Rev. Cedric A. Harmon, Co-Director for Many Voices. “Our allies are deeply important to this work because they remind us that at the heart of the movement for LGBT justice is the fight for everyone in God’s family to live safely and authentically.”

All interviewees are based in North Carolina, a state with a substantial Black LGBT presence and strong ties to the Church. With over 40 percent of Black Protestants supporting the freedom to marry, the testimonies are representative of a growing number of justice-seeking pastors across the country. In addition to sharing the videos through social media and community collaborators, Many Voices offers training, resources, and relationship-building opportunities for church leaders and Black LGBT people. The video release is part of an ongoing campaign that launched in 2013.

Please watch and share this video with others. By sharing the stories of faith influencers, we can shift the culture into a place of LGBT acceptance.