Small Group Leaders
Leader – MST & Allies – Sundays, 5:00-6:00PM MST
Adam Marshall-Lopez is a second career seminarian at Claremont School of Theology, living in San Diego, CA and working in the IT industry. He is currently a member of Pacific Beach United Methodist Church and serves there as a candidate for ordained ministry, resisting denominational injustice from within. Labelled an “Intellectual-Pastoral theologian” by some professors, Adam is passionate about helping those around him to build healthy, life-giving theologies. His theological interests include queer theology, narrative theology, liberation theology, and open & relational theology.
Adam identifies as a cisgender, homosexual male who uses he/him/his pronouns. Adam came out progressively between the ages of 25 and 27, and has been living as his authentic self for over ten years. In his spare time Adam enjoys camping, reading, baking, and watching movies with his husband, Itai.
Co-Leader – MST & Allies – Sundays, 5:00-6:00PM MST
Lindsay is a progressive Christian ally who is currently struggling with finding a church home that is also supportive of her theology and her work. Lindsay received her masters in Clinical Counseling fro Denver Seminary in 2011 and is currently running her own private practice in Cheyenne, WY. She specializes in adolescents, trauma, and Christian LGBTQ+ issues, working with conservative Christian families and individuals who are also in the queer community. Lindsay also works closely with Wyoming Equality, the state's LGBTQ+ non profit in order to advocate for LGBTQ+ in her area. Since inclusive affirming churches are a rarity in Wyoming, she is very excited to connect with others and discuss affirmative theology. She is usually the funny person in the room, and copes with humor in all situations. Lindsay enjoys boxing, yoga, all comic book culture, and legos. She lives in Cheyenne, WY with her husband and two children.
Leader – Coming Out – Mondays, 7:00-8:00PM CST
Hi, friends! I am a seminary student, coffee enthusiast, sunset-lover, and aspiring pastor. I was raised in conservative Christianity and at 17 I immersed myself in evangelicalism by attending Liberty University for undergrad. Ironically, through studying Social Work at LU, I was exposed to progressive values that served as my anchor as I finished my program. It was because of the hard, honest work of folks already living into expansive & inclusive Christianity that I was able to hold onto faith after my deconstruction. I know that pursuing connectedness with God can feel messy, hopeful, frustrating, and purposeful on any given day. And, I believe that a key role of community is to embody the empowering love of God that supports us all on this journey. That’s why I’m so excited to be a part of this small group ministry through Q Christian Fellowship! My leadership style is one of equity and respect. Your unique insight, life experiences, personal boundaries, and questions are more than welcome here - I know that they make us all better. I feel honored for the opportunity to get to know and share life with some amazing folks
Leader – PST – Mondays, 4:00-5:00PM PST
Bailey Brawner (she/her) is a queer, asexual United Methodist Pastor and received her MDiv from Boston University School of Theology. Bailey is the Senior Pastor of Mission Hills United Methodist Church in San Diego, California. She is working to create spiritual spaces for people who have experienced religious trauma, specifically her queer family. Outside of her work, she is a dog mom to Oakley, and passionate about wellness, social media, and social justice. You can read Bailey's recent sermons on her website, baileynbrawner.com, or can connect with her on social media (@baileynbrawner).
Leader – CST #1 – Tuesdays, 10:00AM CST
Kelly serves as the Lead Pastor at Servant Church, a vibrant methodist community in Austin. She is a second-career pastor, as after graduating from The University of Texas, she spent over a decade working in digital marketing in the airline industry. After wrestling with her call for years, she gave in to attending seminary and obtained her MDiv from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. While there, she discovered her preaching voice, a passion for justice, and a more expansive theology. By an abundance of God’s grace, the divine light continues to expand and seep into all of the crevices of doubt and fear that have crept into Kelly’s life in the midst of a divorce and coming out experience in the last two years. Kelly is excited to engage with anyone who needs or wants to participate in a small group as a way to deepen their own understanding of God, or simply to be affirmed in knowing you are loved and you are not alone. Kelly can usually be found playing with her two sons (ages 10 and 4), her four “bonus” kids (16, 13, 10, 7), or trying to catch a quiet moment from all the chaos with her partner, Emily.
Leader – EST #1 – TUESDAYS, 6:00-7:00PM EST
Peter Fenton (@peterfent) is a writer and theatre producer based in Philadelphia with a growing portfolio of work writing comedy, fantasy, and religion. A 2017 alum of Wheaton College with multiple summers spent as a camp counselor, Peter is no stranger to leading a small group and is thrilled join QCF leading a small group fully present for the first time as both gay and Christian! Peter is part of Beacon, a Presbyterian Church USA congregation he found through ChurchClarity as reclaiming his faith following deconstruction after he came out.
When he's not writing or working his day job as a server, Peter enjoys playing guitar, cooperative strategy games, social drinking of coffee/wine/beer (at separate times), and taking long, aimless walks alone or with a good friend. He loves a good laugh while doing just about anything with people he loves and if you haven't set the conversation topic yourself, he's always happy to talk at length about doubt and error, masculinity (toxic and otherwise), pop psychology personality tests (Peter is an enneagram type 6 wing 5 and an INFP) or various nerd culture media too vast to list here.
Co-Leader – EST #1 – Tuesdays, 6:00-7:00PM EST
My name is Lenny, and I am a 30-year-old South Carolina native that now lives in Washington, DC. I went to Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, TX, where I studied Pastoral Counseling but graduated from Liberty University, where I studied Behavioral Science and Religion. Now, I am working on my Master of Divinity from Liberty University.
I moved to the city of Washington, DC, in 2013, for an internship with the Family Equality Council. I fell in love with DC and decided to make this beautiful city, home! Currently, I serve as a Chaplain Assistant in the Army National Guard for the District of Columbia, and I am in the process of completing my packet to be a Chaplain Candidate.
In my free time, I love to be around my friends or family, read a good book, or spend time with my four years old husky (Gunnar) and his best friend, nine years old lab-mix (Kaiah).
Leader – College – Tuesdays, 6:30-7:30PM PST
David Solis is a current fourth-year student at the University of California, San Diego. After many years of identifying as agnostic/atheist, he was able to rediscover his faith during his second year of college through the campus ministry, Intervarsity. After years of struggling with his identity, his relationship with God lead him to accept his identity as a Latinx, bisexual man, and to see the beauty that God sees within this. His journey in faith throughout college helped him find his calling toward ministry. David plans to attend seminary school and with God’s guidance, hopes to spread the love, grace, and acceptance of Jesus Christ and work in marginalized, underrepresented communities as well as creating more safe, welcoming, and affirming space for the LGBTQ+ community.
Co-Leader – College – Tuesdays, 6:30-7:30PM PST
Kyle is a fourth-year student at Baylor University in Waco, TX. He is studying German, journalism, and fine arts. Kyle is passionate about writing, art, music, cats, and hiking. Kyle is a barista at a local bookstore and an extroverted introvert. He has been deeply involved with the Interfaith Youth Corps and is dedicated to inter-religious dialogue. Kyle hopes to pursue graduate studies in New York, Chicago, or Tel Aviv after graduating. After getting an MA in religious studies, Kyle aspires to become a journalist focusing on Queer issues in religion. To Kyle, the Gospel means radical justice, radical forgiveness, radical inclusion, radical compassion, and radical hope.
Leader – EST #3 – WEDNESDAYS, 6:00-7:00PM EST
Barry Dixon (he, him, his) is a bicoastal Lyft driver (in California and Florida!), a church choir director and bible study facilitator. He grew up in the United Methodist Church, joined a fundamentalist church at age 16, graduated from bible college with a bachelors in Theology, and came out at 30.
A gay men’s bible study group and a queer Christian conference saved his life. He started to use his bible knowledge, communications and facilitation skills for queer Christians in Pasadena, California, then later at the national board level, eventually becoming board president of Evangelicals Concerned (it created safe spaces for queer Evangelicals to integrate their sexuality and spirituality). Later, Barry attended a GCN conference in Orlando, where he met his future husband. Barry is a photographer, writer, singer, worship leader and choir director.
“My coming out process,” Barry says, “first started by wrestling with the Bible ‘clobber passages’ that traditional Christians frequently use to bash queer people. I had to be ‘right with God’ before I came out.” With added knowledge, Barry came to the conclusion that the Bible is not exactly clear about same-sex love, commitment or marriage. Barry bases his personal theology on the focal points that mainstream Christians have always used to decide difficult theological questions:
Scripture, Tradition and Reason.
Having come out of a conservative church, he knows the struggles many closeted Christians face. He knows the joy that comes from accepting God’s grace as a mystery.
Co-Leader – EST #3 – Wednesdays, 6:00-7:00PM EST
Brian O'Dell is a gay man living in Metro-NYC. Raised in the conservative Reformed Church in America, Brian's adult spiritual journey led him to membership in the socially-progressive, LGBT-welcoming, peace and racial justice-oriented Riverside Church in NYC (TRC), and the UCC and UU denominations. Brian has led over twenty in-person small groups at TRC on topics including Liberation Theology, Food Justice, 7 Deadly Sins: Short Stories & Scripture, Intersectionality, and Hospitality & The Bible. He created the TRC curriculum "Being the Beloved Community: The Challenge of Wealth and Poverty", an action-oriented Bible study. This study has been used by dozens of small groups at TRC and in the Metro-NYC chapter of American Baptist Churches USA. Last year Brian became disabled with Multiple Sclerosis, which has taught him even more about the issues of ignorance, intolerance and discrimination that people face on a daily basis.
Leader – EST #2 – WEDNESDAYS, 7:00-8:00PM EST
Lorae V. Bonamy is a lover, a dreamer, a communicator and a writer who endeavors to use her agency to make a positive and lasting impact in the lives of others. Lorae received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Strategic Communication from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and her Master of Science degree in Higher Education Counseling/Student Affairs from West Chester University of Pennsylvania.
She currently works as a Student Affairs educator within the University System of Maryland; her primary functional area is fraternity and sorority life. She comes to this work understanding both the tumultuous experience college can be, and the doors that are opened when students are provided with adequate support and guidance.
Lorae was raised in a Christian home, and attended a Baptist church until age 19. While in college, on December 31st, 2012, she had a personal encounter with Jesus and was saved. College is also when she began to realize her sexual identity and attraction to women. From 2012-2018, her belief system evolved quite a bit, and now, in 2019, she has gotten to a place of true freedom in Christ and is continuing to learn what it means to be both queer and Christian.
Leader – EST #4 – Thursdays, 1:00-2:00PM EST
Mark is pursuing Jesus in all he does. He is a student in college hoping to obtain a degree in Music alongside working in ministry! Mark has always loved leading people in worship and service and he is extremely excited to share this journey with everyone. Mark is also a musician, composer and author. As a small group leader he hopes to provide a safe environment focused in Christ and his love for all.
CST #2 – Thursdays, 6:00-7:00PM EST
Hi all! I am a 27 year-old (28 in October) lesbian that goes by Kay (she/her). Some know me as “Kay the Gay”. That would be the most accurate short title for me. I have been identifying as a child of God for some time now, close to seven years, and love Jesus a lot. The journey has caused me a lot of pain and heartache but also a lot of love and grace. I am from the San Francisco Bay Area and just recently moved to Madison, Wisconsin to be with my partner who I met at the QCF conference in January of 18! I am a proud mama of a 10 year old cocker spaniel, Ty who has been by my side since he was 8 weeks old. I am in a fun season of depression, uprooting, and adulting and I am so excited to walk aside each and every one of you in your individual journey!
Co-Leader – CST #2 – Thursdays, 6:00-7:00PM CST
Arthur Petravich is a queer, transgender Christian who grew up in the Assemblies of God faith denomination. Throughout his years of studying for his undergrad degree, he’s lead multiple small groups, bible studies, and worship teams via on-campus, Christian organizations. Arthur has taken part in the deconstructive faith ideology, dissecting scripture to seek new belonging and freedom with an LGBTQ+ identity. He plans on working to becoming an ordained minister post-university.