In 2009, Bishop Yvette Flunder contacted me about this idea she had for a formal transgender ministry of the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries (TFAM). She was calling it TransSaints.
I don’t “look” like I should be a TFAM regular and sometimes folk get confused about my history with TransSaints, but I am proud to affirm that I have been a part of it from its inception in 2009. In those early years, I set up two phases of communications infrastructure for the group. First on the transfaithonline.org domain and then later as Google groups.
By late 2009, Bishop Flunder convened the first TransSaints conference call. While TransSaints would later establish a structure of regional ministers, Bishop was creating committees on that first call. Bishop called my name and “voluntold” me to connect with someone named L.J. Mitchell. We were to be the “advocacy committee” of TransSaints.
While TransSaints leadership soon took a different form, that “advocacy committee” was the relationship that would go on to birth Transfaith as an organization.
Minister Bobbie Jean Baker was a force to be reckoned with. She was one of the four of us who received that first email from Bishop Flunder. As a member of City of Refuge (San Francisco/Oakland) and West Coast Regional Minister of TransSaints, Minister Bobbie Jean was also close to Bishop Flunder. Tragically, Minister Bobbie Jean was killed by a drunk driver early on New Year’s Day 2014.
Honestly, the world will never be the same without her in general, but the loss of Minister Bobbie Jean hit TransSaints in a particular way.
Yet, folk are still doing the work!
TransSaints invites Trans/GNC persons of faith to become involved in leadership and advocacy, centered on the perspectives of the African Diaspora and Global Transgender community, culture, and spirituality.
The current (new) structure has regional TransSaints coordinators and assistant coordinators, with two coordinators serving as co-facilitators of the national body.
- Carmarion Anderson (South Region, co-facilitator)
- AmunDayo Edwards (West Region, co-facilitator)
- Ryan Amir Harris (Midwest Region)
- Yunus Coleman (East Region)
Compiled by Mx. Chris Paige on July 17, 2019.
Note: This blog is intended to be an on-going work in progress. Please contact us if you have corrections or are able to contribute further context or reflections.
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