My Turn by Bojangles Blanchard

My Dream You Made Real

Seven years ago, Joe invited me to pursue my dream of creating a ministry at Highland Baptist that welcomed and affirmed the LGBTQ community to our church in a way that had not been done before. The creation of True Colors is no longer a dream but a beautiful and healing reality not simply because of me but more   importantly, because of you, the members of Highland Baptist. It’s you and God who’ve made this pioneering ministry a beacon for the church-scarred and socially-oppressed LGBTQ community.

As Qohelet wrote in Ecclesiastes, for everything there is a season and the season for me to step down from the ministry has come but I invite you to continue your support of it new and creative ways. I envisioned True Colors to be a wading pool of sorts. LGBTQ folk who’d been wounded by the church in the past or folk who never knew church could come in through the side door into the Fireside Room and dip their feet in the water and begin to trust again that God truly loves them and always has. They also learned to trust that Highland was truly a faith community that welcomes and affirms the individual for their true-selves; their true colors. Once they’d learned to trust again, we encouraged deacons  and members of the church to invite True Colors folk to worship, or the large pool if you will. That’s the kind of ministry and church I’d dreamed of since I was youth growing up in the Southern Baptist Church.

With God’s blessings, Highland Baptist is at a point where the majority of LGBTQ folk now come through the front doors of the church. They partake in the large pool of worship and fellowship. The wading pool is no longer needed and that is why it is time for me to move on to other initiatives, particularly around transgender inclusion and affirmation. This is where God is calling me now.

 When I think about all the incredible things that have happened to our church, our community and our nation in part because of the members of True Colors I am truly humbled. We’ve made a difference, you and us. I write this to thank you for your love, compassion and nurturing of True Colors. You’ll never realize how many lives have been touched and healed by having a safe space where they could show their true colors and be loved for them.

Love and peace,  ~ Rev. Bojangles