What started as a Bible study in a gay bar has grown into a generational ministry. “[The Rev. Dr. Troy Perry] Our founder was denied communion and his calling as a pastor because he was a same-gender loving man,” Rev. Dr. William H. Knight said. During a moment of inspiration from God, he began to reach out and start a ministry directed at the disenfranchised Lesbian/Gay/Bi/Trans/Queer community.
Last year KSAT 12 announced that 50% of Bexar county’s homeless minors are members of the LGBTQ community according to their statistics. “One of the great sorrows of ministry is to look out and see young people who have been rejected by their parents,” Said Rev. Dr. Knight, senior pastor at Metropolitan Community Church in San Antonio. Metropolitan community Church, near downtown San Antonio, is no stranger to the plight of the LGBTQ community. It has been serving them now for over 50 years.
On any given Saturday, you can see between 200 to 500 people sharing in the church Food Pantry Ministry as a part of our commitment to serve our community. Rev. Dr. Knight made it very clear that despite the Church’s special ministry, they are not exclusive to just the LGBTQ community, “If you show up at our door you are considered a member of our community and welcomed with open arms,” However, mainstream Christianity has had a different message. Rev. Dr. Knight answered this with, quite possibly, the most famous verse in the Bible, John 3:16, “’Whosoever’ is an inclusive term that opens God’s grace and God’s mercy to everyone.”
When asked about the difficulty of separation, Rev. Dr. Knight said, “…rather than reaching out to the least among us, rather than reaching out to protect the widows and the orphans, [some religious leaders] have signed onto a doctrine that allows them to be supportive of policies that are harmful and hurtful to so many people,” He continued, “The work that I have committed to doing, is spreading the message that God’s love is for everyone. That love is greater than the senseless separation.”
Rev. Dr. Knight was full of compassion when he said, “Our role in religious life is to make sure that everyone knows they have a seat at God’s table. They are welcome in God’s house. There is a place in God’s kingdom for them.”
When confronted with detractors who say he cannot be a minister and a member of the LQBTQ community, his response is simple, direct and truthful, “I tell them that I struggled with that negative approach for a long time before I was able to accept that my calling did not come from them. My calling came from God.”
Our Lady of the Lake students have been spending some time recently volunteering their community service in the Metropolitan Community Church Food Pantry, a service the entire church appreciates, ”We are so blessed to have the [OLLU] students help out with our food pantry. The more hands make light work. We would be pleased to have anyone come down and help the mission to see to our friends, family and neighbors and community have access to food, because that’s our goal,” Rev. Dr. Knight said.
The service is open to everyone who has a need to be fed, both physically and spiritually. When asked about the homeless LGBTQ youth of San Antonio, Rev. Dr. Knight had this to say, “What I would say to those children is if you have found that your birth family is not a safe place, please know that God has a family for you. My prayer is that they will find that place of safety. If you need anything, reach out, because those of us who have been through it want to help. We want you to know you are not a mistake. God does not make mistakes.”
Worship and celebration services are held on Sundays at 10:00 am with a Spanish worship and celebration service at 1 pm. The church is located at 611 E. Myrtle St. in San Antonio. Current worship services are virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are really committed to being a part of the larger picture, which is a community that stands together and helps one another,” Rev. Dr. Knight said.
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