Photo courtesy of Cynthia Andrews-Looper
Story by Davida Johnson / Contributing Writer
Former Nashville Pastor Cynthia Andrews-Looper has recently announced her plans to bring an LGBTQ+ accepting church to Murfreesboro. This will be the first church geared toward gender and sexual minorities in the area. The venue for the church has not been confirmed yet, but there is a possibility that services will be held on MTSU’S campus in the Student Union Building.
Andrews-Looper, who was the pastor of Holy Trinity Community Church in Nashville for 18 years, stated that since she announced her plans, she has received much positive feedback from the community. She started a Facebook page called Rise Up Community Church, where she posts daily devotionals. The page is open for anyone to join and include their own prayer requests. The group has over 300 members and is increasing daily.
“I knew that there was a large group of LGBT individuals in the Greater Murfreesboro area … and if you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer, we want you here,” Andrews-Looper, who is gay, said. “That is the posture we are going to be taking. We are going to be very intentional about saying that we welcome all people, and what we mean by all is we are particularly reaching out to the LGBTQ community.”
The name of the church will be Rise Up Community Church, which is meant to encourage those who are battling in life to rise up above any barrier they are facing. Andrews-Looper is also a published author of the book “Two Pews From Crazy,” which highlights her life as a Baptist Christian and coming to terms with her sexuality.
Rebekka King, a religious studies professor at MTSU, said she believes having an LGBTQ church in Murfreesboro will be “great for the community.”
“I think that an LGBTQ church in Murfreesboro is an exciting new venture for the community,” King said. “As a scholar of religion, we see all sorts of different churches that emerge with a different interest group in mind. There have been several churches in the community that are already affirming, open and welcoming churches, so it is exciting to see a church that is specifically stating that that is its target community.”
Andrews-Looper plans on having the first service for the church toward the beginning of December 2018.
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