Ray Boltz, who came out as a gay man publicly a couple of weeks ago, will perform at a pro-gay Christian conference in Nashville on Saturday, October 25. The concert is a part of the “Our Family Matters” conference, which is sponsored by Holy Trinity Christian Church, one of several LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender)-affirming churches in the Nashville area.
The concert is part of a series of events beginning on Wednesday, October 22nd, all to be held at the 2nd Presbyterian Church, 3511 Belmont Blvd., Nashville, TN 37215. The church says on its website that it welcomes anyone to join them in their journey of faith, regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, economic or family status, ethnic background, mental or physical abilities.
Boltz will perform as the headlining event of the conference. The event’s website lists a brief bio of the world-reknown Gospel singer:
Ray Boltz has dedicated over fifteen years to music and ministry. Through these years he has captured the attention of the CCM industry by garnering three Dove Awards, two gold albums, a gold video, and twelve number one singles. He has also sold more than four million units of product. Through all this time and these accomplishments Ray’s vision for his ministry still remains the same…to produce and perform music that allows listeners and audiences to see Jesus. Ray thanks everyone who has continued to show Christ’s love during his coming out announcement and looks forward to his return to Nashville to perform at Our Family Matters, the one event that brings all of God’s diversity together in faith, hope, joy and love.
Other featured speakers and singers throughout the four-day event will include ex-gay survivor Peterson Toscano, Dr. Jack Rogers, Mary Lou Wallner, the Holy Trinity Church Choir, and Michael Popham.
Toscano will headline Thursday’s events which are focused on helping those who have wrestled with their sexual orientation and have considered going through ex-gay “ministries,” which generally do more harm than good, according the the American Psychiatric Association. The evening will also focus on helping those who have endured such ministries and will work to help bring healing:
(Thursday) night is dedicated to those persons who have physically, emotionally and spiritually attempted to change who they are, trying to fix what isn’t broke within themselves. Survivors convene for the first time on this side of the country to share their stories, heal intimacy trauma, freeing them to move on and become more of who they are as a unified person created whole and complete.
As a gay man, Peterson’s journey out of the closet has been long and complicated. After years of submitting to reparative therapy through counseling, ex-gay support groups, and even three exorcisms, Peterson enrolled in the ex-gay residential program, Love in Action. He graduated successfully from the program nearly two years later, but in January of 1999 he finally came OUT and fully accepted himself as a gay man.
The conference will also feature a screening of the film God and Gays: Bridging the Gap on Friday, October 25th.
I encourage anyone who’s had to deal with these issues to be a part of this historic and informative event. Who knows, you might even see me there!