Finding a Home Online
Michael W R Crile
conducted a "Stories of Hope" essay contest, asking readers to reflect
on what Whosoever has meant to them over the past ten years. We'll be
sharing these stories as we continue our celebration of our decade of
ministry to GLBT Christians. The following story is from one of our
When I first pulled up Whosoever in the fall
of 2005, I was not sure as what to expect. I have been very leery over
the past few years since leaving the church I was attending during the
1990's, due to the fact of being Bible abused about who I am in Christ
and accepting who God created me to be.
My best way to tell it is to go back from the early 1990's when I
realized that I was gay. (I hope to keep this portion somewhat short
and to explain more over of how Whosoever has been there for me.)
I graduated high school in 1990 in a very "Conservative" town in central
California. This was the beginning of having to hide who I was for a
very long time. Three years after leaving high school, I was invited
to attend a church service with some friends of mine in a twelve step
program. This was a wonderful church except for the fact that they were
not GLBT welcoming or affirming. I however continued to attend until
the fall of 2001. This was actually the time in my life that I accepted
who I was and came out of the closet. This is also when I realized that
I was attending a church that was actually breaking my soul instead
of lifting it up.
After leaving this church I was not willing to attend church for sometime
due to the fact of so many people that attend church were not welcoming
to me. Finally in the Spring of 2002 I did find an affirming church
that I was able to attend for a time. This church welcomed me with open
arms as it was a church for the GLBTQ community. After being there for
four months, the board and pastor of the church felt that God had led
me to attend this church to become the new assistant pastor.
I was however unable to attend faithfully due to the fact of the job
I was working at the time required that I worked nights and worse of
all, all night on Saturdays. This became very difficult to always attend
services when I wanted to. In December of 2002, our pastor fell gravely
ill and the church had to close its doors due to the lack of a full
time pastor. Finally in May of 2003, our loving pastor went to be with
the Lord in her heavenly home. Since then I have had a hard time finding
a church that accepted me and supported my beliefs.
For the past year and a half, my partner and I have been attending
a Spiritual Awareness Center in the affiliation of Christian Religious
Science. Many of the beliefs are not what I grew up on and believe.
So for this matter it has been a struggle for me attending a church
that I truly felt at home at. (I hope this doesn't seem that I am rambling
Now to the current time in my life with Whosoever and what they have
meant for me.
When I found Whosoeverl, I thought that I had only found a place where
I could be a prayer partner to many others around the world as well
as whenever I needed prayer I could ask for it without being judged
by who I might be. When I started going onto the Whosoever site, I realized
there was so much more to Whosoever.org than I ever thought was possible.
This site has been a wonderful source to me in my growth with the Lord,
after not really having a church that I could attend that is affirming
to the GLBTQ community. After the past few months I realized I found
a home church online that I can attend whenever that I choose to attend.
If I am in need of hearing the gospel that God intended for me, even
if it is in the middle of the night, I can go to Whosoever.org and read
a word that was inspired to bless me. If I just need a lifting of my
spirits after a bad day at work, I can come home and click a button
and I feel that I am at church.
I never thought that it was possible to have a community of believers
who are just like me, who feel love like me, who believe in a faith
of a God like me, and just feel so comfortable as who they are and not
feel like they need to hide in a closet of facades.
Had it not been for Whosoever during these past few months, I would
not have been able to handle the fact that I nearly lost the love of
my life. The friends that I have made here are not just friendships
made here on earth, but also wonderful friendships that we will be able
to take to heaven.
I pray that the ministry of Whosoever.org not only celebrates the
most wonderful of anniversaries this year as it turns ten years old,
but also that it has another forty wonderful glorious years of helping
others realize their glorious potential in God.
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