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social sciences

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Apostolic Pentecostals  
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Affirming Apostolic Organizations

In 1980, the first glbtq-affirming Apostolic organization was started in Schenectady, N. Y. Founded by William H. Carey, this group was called the National Gay Pentecostal Alliance.

NGPA opened its first local church in Omaha, Nebraska in 1981, and held its first ordination service in August of that year. The first three ministers were Carey, E. Samuel Stafford, and Frances Cervantes.

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Over the next twenty years, churches were opened in various cities around the United States, and churches in Nigeria and Ukraine joined the movement.

Early in the twenty-first century, NGPA changed its name to Apostolic Restoration Mission. While still an affirming organization, they felt the need to reach out more to the straight community, believing that sexual orientation and gender identity should be non-issues in the church.

During the last decade of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first, other affirming Apostolic organizations were founded. These include Reconciling Pentecostals International (headquartered in LaPorte, Indiana, with 3 affiliated churches and 4 unaffiliated churches with RPI pastors); the Global Alliance of Affirming Apostolic Pentecostals (headquartered in Thonotassa, Florida, with 10 churches in the United States, and others in Canada, Australia, and Uganda); and the Affirming Pentecostal Church (headquartered in Indianapolis).

These organizations are committed to the belief, as formulated by the Affirming Pentecostal Church, that "gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation are irrelevant to our relationship with God. In God's eyes, both in Christ's body and in Heaven, there is neither male nor female. We believe that God is no respecter of persons in the forming of marriages. We believe that God's ideal for sexual expression is that it be only between two people, both of lawful age, both fully consenting, unrelated, and united by love in partnership."

The original organization, Apostolic Restoration Mission, merged with the Global Alliance of Affirming Apostolic Pentecostals. Rev. Carey, however, did not remain with that organization, and instead helped to found the Affirming Pentecostal Church.

Affirming Pentecostal Church

As of 2011, the Affirming Pentecostal Church, which was founded on December 5, 2010, in Indianapolis, is the largest LGBT-affirming Apostolic denomination in the world, with 21 churches and several missions in the United States, West Africa, Wales, Kosovo, Ukraine, and Albania.

Rev. Rafael DeJesus serves as Senior Bishop, while Rev. Kevin Konkle and Rev. Nate Morales serve as Associate Bishops. Temporal authority, however, is vested in the General Board.

The church holds four conferences a year and sponsors a Bible college, the Apostolic Institute of Ministry. This institution exists for the purpose of providing APC ministers and student ministers with a quality education, offering classes in theology, history, eschatology, church administration, and more. In addition, the school offers teaching seminars at APC churches as needed.

The Affirming Pentecostal Church prides itself on being open to everyone. Its anti-discrimination policy includes numerous categories, most notably, race, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

The following U.S. congregations are affiliated with the Affirming Pentecostal Church: True Love Apostolic Church, Indianapolis; Family Worship Center Affirming Pentecostal Church, South Bend, Ind.; Refuge of Hope Church, Penndel, Pa.; Nehemiah Tabernacle, Philadelphia; Refuge of Hope Church, Neptune, N. J.; High Praises International Ministries, Chicago; Abundant Life Tabernacle, Rockford, Ill.; Hope of the Rockies Affirming Pentecostal Church, Palmer Lake, Colo.; Open Door Community Church, Las Vegas; True Love Church, Orlando; Grace For All Church, Terre Haute; Point of Grace Apostolic Church, Charleston, W. V.; Emmanuel Apostolic Temple, Ferndale, Mich; Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Orleans; and All Nations Assembly, Memphis.

William H. Carey

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Affirming Pentecostal Church website: "Our Beliefs."

Apostolic Institute of Ministry website:

Articles of Faith / General Constitution, 2011. Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ website:

Comstock, Gary David. Unrepentant, Self-Affirming, Practicing. New York: Continuum, 1996.

United Pentecostal Church International Position Paper: Homosexuality (February 23, 2011):


    Citation Information
    Author: Carey, William H.  
    Entry Title: Apostolic Pentecostals  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2011  
    Date Last Updated April 17, 2011  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2011 glbtq, Inc.  


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