A Bit About Us
A place to gather
We come from backgrounds and locations in life, but we find common ground in God's radically inclusive love for all people—every tribe, every language, every people, every nation. We follow The Way of Jesus who brought dignity to all life, invited everyone into God's love, and used the created world to heal and lift our bodies, minds, and souls.
Started in 1992, St. Jude's grew out of the needs of the Wilmington community for a church and spiritual home to help and minister to some of the forgotten and cast out members of our society. Born out of a primary outreach to the LGBTQ community, St. Jude's has from the very beginning been attracting members of all genders, sexualities, races, ethnicities... actually, we don't even like categorizing ourselves, for, as we like to say -- The only label that matters is "made in the image of God."
Our first home was a small wooden church on the corner of Castle & 5th Streets, and in 2006 we moved into our current location on Market Street.
Our goal over the years has been the same - to provide a spiritual home for all people - where everyone can come just as they are, live as God has made them, and experience a spiritual transformation that leads to abundant life.
Metropolitan Community Churches
Seeking Love, Truth, and Justice
We belong to an international spiritual movement known as Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC). Founded in 1968, MCC has been at the vanguard of civil and human rights movements by addressing issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, economics, climate change, aging, and global human rights. MCC was the first to perform same-gender marriages and has been on the forefront of the struggle towards marriage equality in the United States and other countries worldwide. Diversity is central to our identity, and believe that this sacred ideal is expressed most fully when we come together in community.
The Reverend John McLaughlin
The Reverend John A. McLaughlin was elected senior pastor of St. Jude's Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) in September 2010 and was charged with leading the congregation into a new era of Christian worship, spiritual growth & well-being, and social justice & action.
“When I moved to Wilmington, NC, I felt like I had moved home. St. Jude's MCC has become the cornerstone of my life and ministry as, together, we answer the call to “Lead a New Generation into the Spirit of God.”
St. Jude's MCC is a vibrant community of faith “The success of our church community is measured in the spiritual health of those to whom we minister. We take seriously the holiness of every individual,” says Rev. McLaughlin
Rev. McLaughlin is the past Chair of MCC's Ecumenical & Inter-faith Advisory Council, co-chair of The Ministerial Roundtable of Wilmington, co-chair of the Cape Fear chapter of GLSEN, former board member of Equality North Carolina, and is an active member of the Wilmington community including organizations such as the LGBTQ Center of the Cape Fear Coast PFLAG, Stonewall Sports, SAGE, and Port City PRIDE.
While earning his Master of Divinity degree from Lancaster Theological Seminary (Lancaster, PA), Rev. McLaughlin focused his studies on biblical scholarship and practical theology. During his seminary training he served as a clergy intern at St. Andrew United Church of Christ (Lancaster, PA) and MCC of Northern Virginia (Fairfax, VA), and as a hospital chaplain at Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air, MD.
Rev. McLaughlin has also earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of South Florida (Tampa, FL) and a Master of Business Administration from The American University (Washington, DC).
After graduating with his MBA in 1991, Rev. McLaughlin worked in the telecommunications and internet industries as a marketing analyst; he also worked overseas in Belfast, Northern Ireland as a community organizer program manager.
How We Operate
Respect, Dignity, and Care
Here at St. Jude's Metropolitan Community Church, we see the value in everyone. Our leaders are elected by the congregation and serve to advance the Vision of the church as it relates to our members, our community, and the world.
Our governing documents include:
Member Covenant - how we agree to help advance our Vision
Direct Dealing Policy - how we will respectfully interact with one another
Bylaws - how, as a 501(c)3 corporation, we are organized
Minutes of the Board of Directors - how we operate on a daily/monthly/annual basis
can add new section about Nathan here
or whatever, but I'm leaving Nathan :-)