Oakland pastor turns the tables on church homophobia

Sep 19, 2016

If you’re familiar with Black churches you know they’re lively and uplifting places. That’s how San Francisco native Yvette Flunder remembers hers. At the Pentecostal Church she grew up in, she recalls pastors and church leaders who were tender and kind and understanding. That is, until one topic came up.

BISHOP YVETTE FLUNDER: They would get in the pulpit and talk about homosexuality. They’d be in the pulpit yelling and screaming, ‘These sissies and faggots! And punks and bulldaggers and dykes!’ It’s like, great day in the morning, where’d that come from? That’s my sweet, kind friend?!

Flunder herself was, as she calls it, “a same-gender-loving-woman.” This kind of preaching drove her out of her church. But, she didn’t leave her religion. As a matter of fact, she went on to become a pastor. She is now Bishop Yvette Flunder of the City of Refuge United Church of Christ in Oakland. It’s a space she founded 25 years ago to be a church that’s culturally Black, and radically inclusive. KALW’S Hana Baba has the story.