On July 10, changes to the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s constitution went into effect, allowing the ordination of openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender ministers, elders and deacons. 

Ratification of these constitutional changes was assured in May 2011, when 51% of the 173 presbyteries voted to change the policy through a nationwide ratification process. Voting on the amendment continued through July. Ninety-seven presbyteries approved the amendment which will become official policy for the entire denomination on Sunday, July 10.

"This historic moment reminds me of when Presbyterians affirmed women as ordained leaders in the church a generation ago," said Michael Adee, executive director of More Light Presbyterians. "Across this country members of welcoming and affirming congregations and ministries are telling the stories of faithful candidates who can now be considered for ordination. Years of sharing our lives, Bible study and prayer helped Presbyterians from all walks of life to affirm ordination based on gifts and graces for ministry and God’s love for all people."

"As a seminarian, I feel like the angels are celebrating!" said Trice Gibbons, co-moderator of More Light Presbyterians. "Presbyterians adopted a policy that opens the door for ordination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender leaders because they heard exciting stories about church vitality among inclusive churches. They were persuaded because they know that young people have been waiting for us to open our hearts to the Spirit of God. Today we can stand proud and tell our young people to bring their friends to church. We now have a policy that helps us to demonstrate the love of God who is the author and creator of all of us--including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people."

Below are the welcoming and affirming Presbyterian Church locations in the Nashville area:

Second Presbyterian Church, 3511 Belmont Boulevard, Nashville, TN 37215, www.secondpresbyterian.net

Trinity Presbyterian Church,  3201 Hillsboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37215, www.trinitypresnashville.org
Woodland Presbyterian Church, 211 N 11th Street, Nashville, TN 37206, www.woodlandpresbyterian-nashville.org

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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