An LGBTQ Welcoming Church

An LGBTQ Welcoming Church

Govans Presbyterian Church has a long history of leading on the issue of marriage equality and LGBTQ rights.

It was advocacy by Govans that prompted the Presbyterian Church (USA) to take up the cause of allowing same-sex marriage, authoring an overture to our regional General Assembly in 2008 that would in 2014 change the definition of marriage from “between a man and a woman” to be “between two people.” A majority of Presbyteries ratified and it was made official in 2016.

Similarly, when the same debate was happening on a national level, Rev. Harris took the controversial stand of refusing to officiate at heterosexual marriages until same gender marriage was also legal.

At Govans, we are creating a welcoming, safe space for people of all gender and sexual identities and expressions.

Support for LGBTQ People

We provide pastoral care and community support for every aspect of love and life together. We cherish getting to celebrate weddings for LGBTQ people (and provide premarital counseling), baptize the children of LGBTQ couples, and provide inclusive worship and spiritual and religious education for both adults and children. If you need a safe place to talk about your faith and your gender and sexual identity and/or expression, Pastors Tom and Billy are here for you. Pastor Billy has completed Safe Zone training to support our commitment to being true allies to our LGBTQ+ neighbors.

As a community, we are intentional about making our physical space welcoming and inclusive, too. Toward that aim, we have identified gender specific and non-specific restrooms so that everyone can find the restroom that best matches their gender identity.

Map of Govans Presbyterian Church Campus in Baltimore

Likewise, we make gender pronoun buttons available when you walk in the door of the sanctuary (ask an usher if you’re having a hard time finding them) and we encourage all of our worship participants to wear them. We also incorporate LGBTQ holidays and commemorations into our worship and life as a community, such as LGBTQ pride month, National Coming Out Day, Spirit Day, and Transgender Day of Remembrance.

We are also actively engaged in the larger LGBTQ community, celebrating and supporting local LGBTQ events and raising funds for SafeHaven, a local LGBTQ non-profit.

Listen to this podcast episode to learn more about our partnership with SafeHaven and our transgender siblings.

Pride Month Activities at Govans

  • This year for pride month we will have special commemorations during worship at 10:00 am on Sundays online (via Facebook and Zoom) and in-person throughout the month of June.
  • We’ll also host a special conversation about Scripture and LGBTQ identity with Revs. Brooke Scott and Lee Catoe on Tuesday, June 28 at 7:00 pm on Zoom. Email billy@govanspres.org for more information about that event.
  • We will be attending Pride events in person, as well, this month. Email wilson@govanspres.org to be connected with Jen Parks, our coordinator for those events.
Flying the rainbow flag to signify Govans Presbyterian Church is an LGBTQ friendly church
Flying the rainbow flag on the bell tower to support LGBTQ rights