An openly transgender woman has been named pastor of a Baptist church in Ohio, Baptist News Global reported.
Erica Saunders, a 2019 graduate of the Wake Forest University School of Divinity, began July 1 as pastor of Peace Community Church in Oberlin, the outlet said.
Earlier this year-
A Baptist church that meets on the campus of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, plans to ordain a transgender woman to the gospel ministry this Sunday.
Erica Saunders, a 2019 master-of-divinity candidate at the Wake Forest University School of Divinity, will become a reverend in a worship service scheduled at 4 p.m. on March 24 in Wait Chapel on the university campus.
Saunders, 24, will be one of the first openly trans individuals to be ordained by a Baptist church in the United States. Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., a congregation now led by married lesbian co-pastors, ordained Allyson Robinson, a transgender woman, to the gospel ministry in 2014.
Saunders, a ministry intern at Wake Forest Baptist Church who began her transition during her first year of seminary, introduces herself on social media as “probably the only bi, trans, Baptist preacher lady you know.”
“Trans folks exist,” Saunders posted this week on Twitter. “God created us just the way we are, and God calls us good. Unfortunately, being trans means I’m not welcome in most churches as a visitor, let alone a leader. But we are Christians. We are called.”