Methodist Minister Comes Out to His Congregation as Transgender


Reverend David Weekley of the Epworth United Methodist Church in southeast Portland, Oregon, took a big step on Sunday:

"Just months after telling his own children that he was not their biological father, Weekley, who is in his late-50s, came out to his congregation of 221 members.

Standing behind his pulpit, Weekley began his usual worship service. About halfway through, he paused to share a personal message he called 'My Book Report.'

He told them that in 1984, just nine years after undergoing extensive sex-reassignment surgeries, he was ordained by the Methodist Church without telling anyone of his original gender at birth.

Following his story, the congregation, who had remained silent throughout his talk, broke into thunderous applause. Church members then proclaimed their support for their pastor.' It doesn’t change him; he’s still Reverend David, and that’s what counts,' says congregation member Robbie Tsuboi, who has been attending Epworth since 1964."

Weekley has been married to his wife Deborah for 13 years and has served as a clergyman for 27.


  1. jack says

    it would seem that ecumenically members of the clergy have realized they have to lead not follow in discussions on human sexuality and have begun coming out en masse.

    interesting times, indeed.

  2. Kerry says

    Although I haven’t lived in Portland since the 70’s, the Epworth United Methodist Church was my family’s place of worship since I was a child. The church was founded by the first Japanese-American immigrants to Portland and is one of the oldest Japanese churches in Oregon.

    I had the opportunity to meet Reverend David this spring when he presided over my father’s memorial service. I experienced him as a gracious and compassionate man and I am thrilled that the congregation embraced their pastor in his very personal sharing.