A transgender woman who attended George W. Truett Theological Seminary and pastored a church in Central Texas as a man has returned to the pulpit.
Allyson Robinson began June 23 as transitions pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Washington. The calling is temporary — helping with preaching, mentoring and pastoral care duties along with the deacons until the church names a longer-term intentional interim pastor — probably this fall.
Calvary Baptist reaffirmed Robinson’s ordination June 15, prior to Pastor Amy Butler’s departure to become senior minister of the historic and progressive Riverside Church in New York City.
“Allyson Dylan Robinson is a minister of the gospel, trained for the task, and ordained to the gospel ministry by another community in which she has served as pastor,” Butler said in an ordination litany later posted on her blog.
“Over the course of her journey, God has invited her to step into the faithful witness of a new identity, a true identity, and a new name,” she continued. “While we have always known her as Allyson, she was ordained with a different name.”
Robinson, an LGBT-rights activist who has worked in the past for the Human Rights Campaign and as executive director of OutServe, a network for gays in the military, has previous experience in pastoral ministry including five years at Azorean Baptist Church in Portugal and as pastor of Meadow Oaks Baptist Church in Temple, Texas, while studying for her M.Div. at Truett Seminary between 2005 and 2007.
A 1994 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Robinson was commissioned as an officer in the Army. Then known as Daniel Robinson, she commanded PATRIOT missile units in Europe and the Middle East, served as a senior trainer/evaluator for NATO and was an adviser to the armed forces of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar.
She resigned her commission in 1999 to pursue a calling to Christian ministry. She enrolled at Truett intending to continue in ministry as a Christian man, but her first few semesters turned into soul searching about gender-identity issues that had haunted her since childhood.
“I prayed for 25 years of my life, since I was old enough to know how to pray, that God would fix me,” Robinson told the Waco Tribune-Herald in 2011. “I did everything I thought God wanted me to do, that a good Christian man should do.”
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SOURCE: Associated Baptist Press