Congregation embraces transgender minister as his secret is revealed

I have known David Weekley and his wife Deborah for several months now as they had begun the many steps in the coming out process. Below is a long story of how the process has been so far. I love good news.

Just months after telling his own children that he was not their biological father, Weekley, who is in his late-50s, came out to his congregation of 221 members.

Standing behind his pulpit, Weekley began his usual worship service. About halfway through, he paused to

David & Deborah Weekley

David & Deborah Weekley

share a personal message he called “My Book Report.”

He told them that in 1984, just nine years after undergoing extensive sex-reassignment surgeries, he was ordained by the Methodist Church without telling anyone of his original gender at birth.

Following his story, the congregation, who had remained silent throughout his talk, broke into thunderous applause. Church members then proclaimed their support for their pastor.

“It doesn’t change him; he’s still Reverend David, and that’s what counts,” says congregation member Robbie Tsuboi, who has been attending Epworth since 1964.

“I think it was a really, really positive reaction. From what I understand, it was 100 percent support within the church.”

Read the rest of the Portland Tribune Article here.
Congratulations David and Deborah!

(photo credit: L.E. BASKOW / Portland Tribune)


This post has 7 Comments

  1. Sheria-SA on August 31, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Wow, what an amazing and understanding congregation…They obviously have so much love! I wonder if the reaction would be the same in other churches?

  2. GreenEyedLilo on August 31, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    Wow. Just…wow. The story would’ve ended so differently in so many other churches. So many other anyplaces, period. I’m really glad to read this one.

  3. Jane on September 2, 2009 at 11:43 am

    I am so proud of my fellow Methodists in the Oregon Idaho Annual Conference. In 2004, my conference voted to send, then Rev. Hoshibata, as a candidate for episcopacy. He was elected a bishop and serves the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference. In 2004, Bishop Hoshibata sat and folded peace cranes and gave them to any and all who passed him. He is a man of peace and justice. There is hope – always hope. Welcome home Rev. Weekley.

  4. Sheria-SA on September 2, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    How would I react? Suprise first. But then, its no big deal really-female priests are allowed to lead in churches anyway. So, male or female doesn’t matter. Am sure the Rev Weekley held on to the classic saying, “some things are better left unsaid”, but am sure in time, he realised that secrets eat away at us, slowly but painfully. He came out, and I applaud him! I too say, welcome “home” Rev…

  5. cary on September 2, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    this is such a beautiful witness to the goodness of humans.
    and what an example for churches everywhere.

    wonderful story. so nice to hear some good news.

  6. Vincent Cervantes on September 7, 2009 at 3:06 am

    David and Deborah are such beautiful people!! They were this years recipients of the Cup of Justice Award from the Reconciling Ministries Network. It was with great honor that I was able to present the away to them this evening.

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