Transgender pastor Elijah Walker started his own church in the South—and half the congregation belongs to the LGBTQ+ community.
“I knew God loved me long before I knew that I was trans,” he explained. “It is totally possible to be a person of faith and to be LGQTQ.”
Walker grew up in a Missionary Baptist Church in northeast Arkansas and was really active in the church. He was a senior in high school when he realized he was trans.
“Around the same time, I also felt this strong sense that I was called to pastor a church and specifically to start a church,” he said. “I had a dream of creating a community where people of all different backgrounds, of all different sexual orientations, of all different gender identities could worship and be themselves.”
Through word of mouth and online outreach, Walker formed a faith community called Solomon’s Porch.
“About half of the people in our church are LGBTQ,” he said. “The other half are straight cisgender folks that are allies to the community.”
Walker says that plans and aspirations for the church are forming everyday with prospects of a youth drop-in center as well as a food pantry.
“I believe in a God who has done miraculous things, who used a group of twelve disciples of Jesus to change the world two thousand years ago,” he said. “I trust that something good is happening here.”