On the Road to Refuge

By Hatty Lee Sep 16, 2009

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Photos by Pete Muller. In Washington, D.C., Pastor Kendal Brown welcomes everyone to his church, the City of Refuge. Check out the story on this radical church that reaches out to queer Black communities at ColorLines.com. Here’s an excerpt:

You, and everything about you, is welcome in this house of God,” Pastor Kendal Brown declares as he removes thick-framed glasses to wipe sweat from his brow. “Welcome home.” His outstretched arms wave before him, palms open and extended toward a crimson crucifix at the front of the church. Members moved by the Holy Spirit run circles around pews filled with teary-eyed worshipers. Organs and drums invade the air with deafening force as members cry out in Pentecostal tongues. Each Sunday, in the desolate town of Lanham, Maryland, north of Washington, Brown preaches the controversial doctrine of Radical Inclusion, an emerging trans-denominational philosophy that aims to provide safe, affirming space for those wounded by “oppressive,” traditional religion. His church, the City of Refuge, reconciles this concept of GLBT-focused, “affirming” worship with Pentecostalism, a branch of Christianity known for a conservative doctrine as well as intense worship styles, like speaking in tongues.

Read the rest of the story here.