Rev. Dr. Roland Stringfellow is the Senior Pastor and Teacher at the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit, an LGBTQ-affirming congregation that focuses in on community outreach and development. He is also on the board of Inclusive Justice, a coalition of LGBTQ-affirming faith organizations in Michigan that works to advance a statewide conversation about justice and dignity for LGBTQ people. Originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana, he now lives in Detroit with his husband.
Roland also leads a national outreach project centered on the African-American faith community, the Umoja Project. Through his work, he helps pastors and lay leaders in the Black church to increase their understanding and acceptance of LGBTQ congregants. “When I came out of the closet after being a pastor in the Baptist church for 10 years, I tested and tried many mainline denominational churches to see if I would be fully welcomed as an African-American gay Christian,” Roland said. “Many of these churches had no problem if I held my partner’s hand during a service, yet I did not find a church that was willing to address my spiritual violence of shaming and rejection. I wanted to discover how to love the Biblical text as well as my identity. I found what I was looking for in the MCC.”