A United Church of Christ congregation in Massachusetts recently hosted what it called a “Drag Gospel Festival” in support of the homosexual and transgender members in its assembly.
The First Church of Somerville (FCS) hosted the event October 16-18 both during its Friday night drag show and Sunday morning worship service.
“God is good all the time! That means God is a diva, and girl, Jesus is fierce!” wrote Serenity Jones, the congregation’s “drag queen in residence” on the FCS website.
“What do drag queens or drag kings have to do with Jesus or the gospel?” he asked. “We at FCS believe ‘God don’t make no junk.’ So whether you are straight, gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgendered or still playing hard to get, Jesus loves you and so do we! Amen baby! So come and get yours at this here church!”
According to The Huntington News, an estimated 100 people attended the Friday night event, which doubled as a fundraiser for the LGBT Asylum Support Task Force.
“There is a great drag tradition with music,” congregation member Marlin Collingwood told the publication. “But gospel music has been the root for drag.”
Men dressed as women, complete with wigs and makeup, sang gospel songs for those gathered—whether live or lip synching to the music.
On Sunday, Associated Pastor Jeff Mansfield arrived for the morning service wearing lipstick, blush and eye shadow, and leader Molly Baskette drew a mustache on her face with a marker. According to reports, some members of the choir wore drag as well.
Over 250 people attended the service, including one man who walked to the front of the room upset about the event flyer, which featured a graphic of Jesus wearing makeup and earrings.
“You paint up Jesus Christ like a prostitute,” he declared.
The service included secular music as well, such as that performed by Lady Gaga, and concluded with a fellowship meal.
This month’s drag show was the fifth year that FCS has hosted the event.
United Church of Christ, which is outside of biblical orthodoxy and was the first American religious group to ordain homosexuals and affirm abortion, made headlines last year when it filed a legal challenge against North Carolina’s same-sex “marriage” ban, asserting that it violates the free exercise of religion among clergy.
“It boils down to a view on the authority of Scripture,” Clint Pressley of Hickory Grove Baptist Church told the Charlotte Observer about the suit. “The denominations listed have abandoned almost 2,000 years of Christian Orthodoxy. It’s not surprising.”