Post submitted by Diane Martin, HRC Religion and Faith Program Intern:
More Light Presbyterians (MLP), an organization working for the full participation of LGBTQ people in the Presbyterian Church (USA), just named 29 year-old Alex McNeill as their new executive director. McNeill is an openly transgender man and will serve as the first transgender person to lead not just MLP, but any mainline Protestant faith-based organization.
McNeill is an active educator and advocate for LGBTQ Christians. Through his work with the Institute for Welcoming Resources and the Reconciling Ministries Network, McNeill has trained hundreds of Christians to become community leaders and advocates. Such leadership training will continue to be the focus of McNeill’s work with MLP as he explains, “The more we encourage our supporters to share their knowledge, skills and calling, the more our denomination and community will look like God’s kin-dom.”
McNeill has played an integral role in fostering a more inclusive Presbyterian Church as well as greater society through his work supporting Equality Maryland and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. He played a key role organizing faith communities for the passage of Amendment 10A in the PC(USA) constitution, which overturned the requirement that all ministers, elders and deacons live in “fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness.” McNeill is now the first transgender ministry candidate from his home presbytery in western North Carolina.
Speaking about his new role as executive director for More Light Presbyterians, McNeill said, “I’m honored to join More Light, which has always been on the forefront of the Christian tradition of fostering acceptance for the most vulnerable among us. I look forward to building on this proud tradition to create a fully welcoming church.”