Whosoever Fellowship Church founded in Blount county

by David Shuler
Staff Writer

MARYVILLE - The brick house on Wildwood Road in Maryville, Tenn., looks like any other house in the beautiful semi-rural setting that is typical of Blount County – except three times each week, the driveway and entire front yard are bursting at the seams, full of cars bringing GLBT people and their friends and family to the Whosever Fellowship Church.

On a rainy Thursday evening, Pastor Pam Wright along with her partner June Ward and Greggory Phenicia, church member, sat down to explain how their church came into being. Founded on Dec. 31, 2004 , Whosoever Fellowship Church now boasts about 40 members from the surrounding area. Some members come from as far away as Gatlinburg and Knoxville to attend this little church that is held in Wright’s garage.

Pastor Wright and her partner, June, felt led by God to begin ministry. They spent a lot of time questioning the location and made plans for beginning the ministry. June, newly out, wanted to experience GLBT life in a large city, so Pastor Wright took her to Atlanta , Ga. , to participate in Atlanta ’s Pride.

While spending time with some friends, they joined the New Covenant Church , a GLBT accepting church.

Pastor Wright recalled, “The pastor of New Covenant pointed her out and said ‘I have a message from God; do you want to hear it?’ I said ‘yes.’ ‘God said, you’re going to see this thing through, go a 360 and not miss him.’”

Shortly thereafter, the couple moved to Atlanta . After more than a year spent living in Atlanta , Wright and Ward felt it was time to return to East Tennessee to begin their own ministry.

“Finding a place wasn’t easy, but after much searching we found what we were looking for in Maryville on Wildwood Road ,” Wright said.

The two-story house was perfect. The upper level serves as a home office while the ground level serves as a sanctuary and fellowship area.

Pastor Wright had a time convincing the landlords that they weren’t criminals and weirdoes. She said that they would come and make frequent checks on the house. Finally they saw that these determined women were sincere in their efforts to minister to the people of the area. Five or six people attended the first church service. Within two weeks the numbers had doubled, and attendance has continued to grow since then.

“The first person that we helped lead to the Lord was a straight woman,” June said.

“The Lord is working in great and mighty ways and we’ve seen his hand move because of all the prayers that are being prayed,” Pastor Wright said.

The warmth and love emanating from Whosoever Fellowship is exciting and accepting. It is virtually contagious. Their meetings buzz with excitement and love.

Whosoever Fellowship Church goals include a 24-hour hotline, domestic violence training to equip members to deal with issues facing gay and lesbian couples, and a safe house where those in need can find a haven until they can transition to more independent living quarters, as well as life skills training for those who seek refuge.

Whosoever Fellowship Church has three services: Sunday morning service at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday night Bible study at 7:00 p.m. and Friday night praise and worship.

WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

Keep readingShow less
by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

Keep readingShow less

Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

Keep readingShow less