Breaking News
More () »

St. Paul United Church of Christ provides safe space for worshippers, including LGBTQIA+

'Everything had to be kept quiet. I was in the closet for a long time,' said St. Paul United Church of Christ's Pastor Dana Worsham.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Members of the St. Paul United Church of Christ gather on Wednesdays to worship and offer acceptance to everyone in the community.

Although the church may have originated in 1911, its modern outlook on the LGBTQIA community has made it the focal point of several Pride Month events this year. Its pastor, Dana Worsham, wouldn't have it any other way.

Worsham grew up in a small town in Georgia and, being a member of the LGBTQ community, she felt compelled to be part of the change once she discovered her calling.

"Everything had to be kept quiet. I was in the closet for a long time," she said. 

Due to her upbringing, it took years for Worsham to set foot in a church.

"When I left home to go to college, I left church too because I didn't think there was a place for me," she said. "I was out of the church for like 16 years. I always knew there was a calling, but I didn't think that was possible and I ended up finding a church in Atlanta."

Worsham has been in Corpus Christi since 2019, where she has created a safe space where everyone can be their authentic selves—a space she longed for while growing up.

"The only place back in the day when I came out to have any kind of social life and be yourself was the bars, but you know, there's so many more accepting places. St. Paul has been an open and affirming place since 1998," she said. 

Churchgoer Brynn Selcer said she felt love and accepted from the moment she stepped inside St. Paul United Church. 

"As soon as I walked in, they were like 'Oh, you like girls' and I'm like 'Yeah,'" she said. "They already knew, and as soon as that, they were telling me, 'Well, God loves you no matter what.' It was then when it fully hit me."

Selcer said that St. Paul United Church of Christ gave her a sense of belonging.

"It feels like I belong. It hasn't always been that way. Everyone here makes everything so easy and open to where you don't feel like anything you do will be judged," she said. 

The church holds services every Sunday, and they also gather on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. for dinner and fellowship.

More from 3News on KIIITV.com:  

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for your daily news and exclusive extended interviews.

Do you have a news tip? Tell 3!

Email tell3@kiiitv.com so we can get in touch with you about your story should we have questions or need more information. We realize some stories are sensitive in nature. Let us know if you'd like to remain anonymous.

Before You Leave, Check This Out