SEPT. 19, 2016—If you’re familiar with Black churches you know they’re lively and uplifting places. That’s how San Francisco native Yvette Flunder remembers hers. At the Pentecostal Church she grew up in, she recalls pastors and church leaders who were tender and kind and understanding. That is, until one topic came up.
“They would get in the pulpit and talk about homosexuality,” said Bishop Yvette Flunder. “They’d be in the pulpit yelling and screaming, ‘These sissies and faggots! And punks and bulldaggers and dykes!’ It’s like, great day in the morning, where’d that come from? That’s my sweet, kind friend?!”
Flunder herself was, as she calls it, “a same-gender-loving-woman.” This kind of preaching drove her out of her church. But, she didn’t leave her religion. As a matter of fact, she went on to become a pastor. She is now Bishop Yvette Flunder of the City of Refuge United Church of Christ in Oakland. It’s a space she founded 25 years ago to be a church that’s culturally Black, and radically inclusive. KALW’S Hana Baba has the story.
The Spiritual Edge is a project of KALW and the Templeton Religion Trust. We’d love to hear your suggestions on what we should be covering. Leave us a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.