The Rev. Dr. Thomas Bohache (chair) was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and began attending Metropolitan Community Church in 1981, when he was twenty-five years old. He was raised as a Roman Catholic and attended parochial schools through high school and then received a Bachelor of Arts degree in classical languages from UCLA. After working as an administrative assistant and paralegal while attending law school, Tom decided to enter the MCC clergy training program, receiving a Bachelor of Theology degree from Samaritan College, MCC’s former theological school.
Credentialed as clergy in July of 1988, Tom served as volunteer Assistant Pastor at MCC of Silver Lake in the Los Angeles area, until he was called to serve as Pastor at MCC of the Blue Ridge in Roanoke, Virginia. He moved cross-country in January, 1990, and was Pastor at MCCBR until June, 1994, when he relocated to the Washington, DC, area to become Assistant Pastor to Rev. Elder Darlene Garner at MCC of Northern Virginia, where he ministered until the fall of 1997. After leaving MCC NOVA, Tom returned briefly to MCCBR as Interim Pastor from January through June, 1998, when he was elected Pastor of MCC Rehoboth in Delaware, a position he held for ten years. From January, 2009, until December, 2016, Tom served as Pastor of MCC Christ the Liberator in central New Jersey. Over the years, he has served in numerous denominational and regional positions, currently as faculty and Continuing Education Director for the Office of Formation and Leadership Development and Chair of the MCC Theologies Team.
During his pastorates, Tom has always pursued higher education, earning Master of Arts degrees in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia and Georgetown University, as well as a Doctor of Ministry in feminist liberation theologies from the Episcopal Divinity School. He has most recently done post-doctoral research at the University of Exeter, UK.
He is a published biblical scholar/theologian, having contributed to and co-edited The Queer Bible Commentary (SCM Press, 2006), and authored essays in the Journal of Theology and Sexuality (2003) and Take Back the Word: A Queer Reading of the Bible (Pilgrim Press, 2000), as well as his own full-length book entitled Christology from the Margins (SCM Press, 2009). His most recent book is a collection from MCC authors which he co-edited and contributed to, entitled Queering Christianity: Finding a Place at the Table for LGBTQI Christians (Praeger, 2013).
He has been in relationship for fifteen Rev. Tom Simmons, who is a graduate of Wesley Theological Seminary and was ordained as MCC clergy in 2016. The two Toms were legally married in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 2005, and are currently dividing their time between Delaware and Texas, much to the chagrin of their furry daughter, Jade, a beautiful calico cat.
Bryce E. Rich is a PhD Candidate in Theology at The University of Chicago Divinity School, where his research focuses on the intersection of Eastern Orthodoxy, gender, and queer theory. He received his Master of Arts in Religion from Lancaster Theological Seminary, in Lancaster, PA, and a Bachelor of Arts in Russian & Eastern Studies at the University of Kentucky. His other academic interests include theological anthropology, sacramentology, and mimetic theory.
Rev. Carmen Margarita Sánchez De León was born in Puerto Rico and currently is living with her family in Lisbon, Portugal. She is married to Frida Kruijt and they have four year old twins (a daughter and a son), Oshadi and Siboney. Ordained in the Metropolitan Community Churches in 1998, she has been a pastor in different cultural contexts, in Puerto Rico and the UK, and also served beyond MCC in ecumenical and human rights organizations. As Executive Director of Amnesty International Puerto Rico she took the lead in the successful campaigns for two significant changes in the legislation of Puerto Rico: inclusion of human rights violations in the Penal Code, and the elimination of the Sodomy Law. Currently she is working with the MCC Office of Emerging Ministries, supporting Elder Héctor Gutiérrez. She is the Faculty Dean of Garner Institute for Ibero-America Leadership Formation (GIIALF) and Coordinator for OFLD in Ibero-America. She has published a range of articles linking human rights and theology.
The Rev. Dr. Axel Schwaigert received his Diplom in Evangelisch Theologie (Diploma in Protestant Theology) from the School of Theological Studies at Tubingen (Germany) and studied inter-religious dialogue at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. He began his pastoral training in 1998 at MCC Bournemouth. In 2000 he launched the new Salz der Erde MCC Stuttgart during Gay Pride. After 10 years of building this new congregation in surroundings not familiar with independent churches, Axel went on to earn his Doctor of Ministry degree at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA.
In his secular life, Axel works as a funeral director. He loves singing, dancing, and acting on stage in musicals, which he sometimes dares at a community theater of the US Forces in Stuttgart.
Eileen Grace Dalusong was born and raised Roman Catholic in the Philippines. She immigrated to Canada in 1995. Recently, she graduated with a Master of Divinity from Emmanuel College at the University of Toronto in May 2017 and, alongside, completed courses in Spiritual Direction and Buddhism. She was a recipient of the James Forbes Seunarine Memorial award for general proficiency and academic merit, and the Reverend Kam-Yan Ng scholarship for demonstrating commitment to doing theology and ministry in an Asian/North American-Asian context, and recently, The Michael Fawcett Prize in the practical work in public speaking.MCC Toronto is her church home where she served as Lector Minister since 2000, sang with the choir during special worship services, and was commissioned as Deacon in 2007 providing pastoral care. She helps out with the Emerging Churches in MCC from time to time together with the North-American Filipino community members. She has worked in public service as a civil servant for over 15 years, striving to provide program management and services to disenfranchised members of the community, in particular victim services, violence prevention against women, and LGBTQI. After starting as volunteer teaching yoga and Zen meditation in prisons, she later moved on to do prison work and served as Chaplain in 2014-2015. Every summer for the last 14 years, Eileen travels across Ontario dragonboat racing together with the MCCT Drag’nAngels mission team. When she is not doing “church on the water”, she is on the silk ropes learning aerial yoga, which helps manage chronic anxiety and fear of falling – a new addition to her spiritual practices.
Patrice Ford began singing in church at the age of 3 and has been singing ever since. At the age of 11, she auditioned for and was accepted into the Millikan Performing Arts Middle School. From there she attended the Hamilton Music Academy and Pete Knight High School where she graduated in 2008. She first attended Mount Zion Baptist Church in Pacoima, CA until she moved to Palmdale, CA at the age of 16. She began attending Living Stone Cathedral of Worship in Little Rock, CA in 2006. While at Living Stone, she sang backup for Angela Hearns, an established Gospel music artist. She also sang with the Young Adult Praise team as well as the Adult Choir. Additionally, Patrice was a Young Adult leader for elementary and middle school children within the church. Patrice found her love of serving the community by helping feed the homeless in the Antelope Valley and helping on skid row in Los Angeles. She has also volunteered at several Senior Centers in the Antelope Valley. She currently attends Founders Metropolitan Community Church in Los Angeles, CA and is active in the Choir, the Young Professionals Ministry, and the Azania (People of African Descent and their Friends/Allies) Ministry. She is also an active part of the LEAD program and has participated in the Young Adult Leadership Retreat. Patrice is currently working on a BA in Religious Studies with plans to pursue a MDiv degree in the near future. Her goal/dream is to become a Pastor and Music Minister.
The Rev. Dr. Kelby Harrison is a recently ordained minister with the Metropolitan Community Church (December 15, 2013). After completing her Ph.D. in ethics, gender and sexuality from Northwestern University (2010); she was the post-doctoral fellow in Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary, where she taught Christian ethics, philosophy of religion, and LGBT social ethics. Rev. Kelby trained as a hospital chaplain at UCLA – Santa Monica Medical Center. Furthermore, she is the author of the book Sexual Deceit: The Ethics of Passing co-editor of the anthology Passing/Out: Identity Veiled and Revealed, an intergenerational scholarly discussion of LGBTQ identities. She currently lives in Los Angeles, California where she is the director of the LGBT resource Center at the University of Southern California. And she is the proud parent of two toy poodles: Anzu and Sakura.
The Rev. Dr. Mona West is the Director of MCC’s Office of Formation and Leadership Development. Originally ordained in the Southern Baptist denomination in 1987, she transferred her ordination credentials to MCC in 1992. Mona holds M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees from Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY. She published Take Back the Word: A Queer Reading of the Bible with Pilgrim Press and is one of four editors of The Queer Bible Commentary published by SCM Press in 2006. Mona’s website can be found at http://www.monawest.com/.
Rev. Dr. Roland Stringfellow
Denise Sudbeck is a 1989 graduate of Bangor Theological Seminary in Bangor, ME and is currently a D. Min. candidate at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities in Minnesota, specializing in Trans and Recovery ministries. After spending 15 years as a pastor in another denomination in rural and isolated ministries in Maine, Minnesota and Alaska, she has recently returned to ministry as the pastor of MCC Last Frontier, a new emerging church in Anchorage and is nearing the end of the MCC ordination process. She is published in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Civil Rights: A Public Policy Agenda for Uniting a Divided America, Wallace Swan, ed. and is currently working on a chapter for the next book in that series. Her D. Min. dissertation takes a fresh theological look at the lives of trans people created in the image of God. She contributes as a community LGBT activist and spokesperson and is looking forward to a future series of essays about experiencing grace at the intersection of gender identity and recovery. She and her wife, Aimee, enjoy every chance they can fishing and camping in the great wilderness that is Alaska.
The Rev. Dr. Nancy L. Wilson was elected to the position of Moderator of MCC in 2005, following the retirement of the Founder of MCC, Rev. Elder Troy Perry and in July 2010, she was re-elected for a term of six years. Her office is in Sarasota, Florida. Rev. Wilson obtained her B.A. from Allegheny College, her M.Div. from St. Cyril and Methodius Seminary and is a D.Min. from Episcopal Divinity School.
Nancy’s published works include: Outing the Bible: Queer Folks, God, Jesus, and the Christian Scriptures (LifeJourney Press); Outing the Church: 40 Years in the Queer Christian Movement (LifeJourney Press); Nossa Tribo: Gays, Deus, Jesus e a Bíblia(Metanoia); Our Tribe: Queer Folks, God, Jesus and the Bible (Alamo Press); with Fr. Malcolm Boyd, Amazing Grace. Rev. Wilson’s prayers and poems are included in Race and Prayer, edited by Malcolm Boyd and Chester Talton (Morehouse Press). For a full bio see (link).
The Theologies Team is also served with staff support by Marina Laws.