From Our Pastors
Beloved In Christ,
What an absolute joy and honor it is for me to welcome you to St. John’s Metropolitan Community Church! St. John’s MCC is a diverse faith community of members, regular attendees and friends who are devoted to becoming Disciples of and for Jesus Christ, in the church, in our community and in the world!
As followers of the Christ Way (that is the way of Love), we believe that the core of our mission and ministry as a church is the Great Commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Creator, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). Simply put, we believe that God has called us to a three-prong ministry; namely “Proclaiming Christ, Building Community and Transforming Lives” and we strive to fulfill this call each day by “finding them, bringing them in, growing them up and sending them out” in Jesus’ name. We are excited to share this Welcome Guide with you, for you are God’s reminder to us of the ministry God has entrusted to us and has called us to fulfill.
On behalf of the members of St John’s MCC, it is our desire to serve and be of service to God by ministering to and with you. In every way, my prayer is that you will be open to and allow the Spirit of God to speak to your heart and that the warmth, welcome and atmosphere of love, care and compassion that you encounter through this community of faith will renew and refresh your spirit as we seek to honor God “in spirit and in truth.”
We invite you to join us for worship every Sunday and look forward to sharing and celebrating the journey of faith with you. There is a place for you here . . . Welcome home!
Wishing You God’s Peace and Abundant Blessings,
The Reverend B. Y. Boone, a native of Virginia, has been active with MCC for over 25 years. A graduate of Hampton Institute, Rev. Boone was employed as a Teacher and Student Activities Coordinator in Virginia prior to relocating to Northern Virginia to begin formal study for the professional ministry. Reverend Boone earned a Master of Divinity degree, Magna Cum Laude, from Wesley Theological Seminary in 1996 with an emphasis in preaching and worship.
A member of the UFMCC since 1983, Rev. Boone has held active memberships in New Life MCC of Tidewater (now Hampton Roads) in Norfolk, Virginia, MCC of Northern Virginia (NOVA) in Oakton/Fairfax, MCC-Washington in Washington, D.C. and St. John's MCC in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Since joining MCC, Rev. Boone has served in several District, Regional and Fellowship ministries through the years, including fifteen (15) years on the Mid-Atlantic District Committee as a lay representative and District Clerk.
From 1997 to 2000, Reverend Boone served as the Assistant Pastor for Education and Training at MCC-Washington. After serving at MCC-DC, Reverend Boone was a much sought after guest preacher, teacher and workshop leader both in and outside of the UFMCC.
In July of 2001, with 98% of the votes cast, Reverend Boone became the second African-American to be called to serve as the fourth Pastor of St. John's MCC in Raleigh, North Carolina. In addition to serving as Senior Pastor at St. John’s, Rev. Boone also serves as one of MCC’s Clergy Representatives to the North Carolina Council of Churches, a member of the Board of Directors for The Triangle Interfaith Alliance (TIA), as well as a member of the Board of Directors for the Alliance of AIDS Services-Carolina (AAS-C).
In 2007, Reverend Boone was appointed to serve on the Moderator’s Theologies Team for UFMCC and has served on the MCC Region 3 Facilitation Team prior to being appointed the Network Lead for MCC’s in North and South Carolina.
My Sisters and Brothers,
I am elated to welcome you to St. John’s Metropolitan Community Church. We have waiting just for your arrival. As you share your time with us, you will find that we believe it is by divine providence that you and we were destined to share this appointed time and space together.
In the Judeo-Christian tradition, hospitality is an important virtue to possess. In biblical days of old, to say that one was a most gracious host was to say that that person possessed a character of distinction and honor. We want to receive you in the most hospitable way that we can, and not just during the “passing of the peace of Christ” with smiles, handshakes, and hugs during our worship services. We want you to feel as if you are joyously being received as an angel sent by God to a people who have been waiting just for you. Hebrews 13:2 states, “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing, some people have entertained angels without knowing it” (NRSV). We hope you feel like an angel at St. John’s and not a stranger.
I welcome you as a child of God and as our brother or sister in the Christ. It is my prayer that the Spirit of God will allow you to be receptive to the warmth, love, compassion, and care that this community of faith has to offer and that the experience will be a transformative one. Thank you for blessing us with your presence. We eagerly look forward to your return to join us in worshiping God “in spirit and truth.”
Wishing You God’s Grace and Peace,
The Reverend Carlton D.M. Rutherford, born in Ahoskie, North Carolina, was reared in a small town in northeastern North Carolina called Scotland Neck. It was the home the maternal side of his family, who trace their roots back to two slaves, Sylvia “Sylvester” and Ephraim Mutts, who have marked graves in the area. He received his elementary education at Brawley High School, the same local segregated school that his mother and her siblings attended. In 1971 he gave his life to Christ and joined Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, his mother’s church which stands on the same block that they lived. Reverend Rutherford attended Palmer Memorial Institute, a black prep school in Sedalia, North Carolina. After graduating in 1970 he attended Hampton Institute, Hampton, Virginia where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology in 1974. Reverend Rutherford furthered his formal education by receiving a Master of Social Work degree from East Carolina University in 1990 and a Master of Divinity degree from Duke University in 2005.
Reverend Rutherford has worked in the field of social work as a social worker at Central State Hospital, Petersburg, Virginia, as a foster care social worker at Richmond City Department of Social Services, Richmond, Virginia and Durham County Department of Social Services, Durham, North Carolina, and as a clinical social worker at Duke University Hospital, Durham, North Carolina. His areas of interests in social work include children and families, HIV/AIDS, lesbians, gays, bisexual, transgender, and queer community, people of color, and homelessness. He is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), a certified social worker by the Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW), and a third generation licensed funeral director by the North Carolina Board of Funeral Service. While at Duke Divinity School, Reverend Rutherford engaged in ministry in Johannesburg, South Africa during the summer of 2004. He ministered to those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS and to the homeless. It was a transformative experience for him which intensified his interest in global issues. His passion in ministry is pastoral care.
From the very beginning of his residence in the Triangle, Reverend Rutherford has been an active citizen in the community. Organizations in which he has been active include Durham AIDS Network, North Carolina AIDS Service Coalition, Lesbian and Gay Health Project, OUTRIGHT (LGBT youth), UMOJA: A Community of Lesbians and Gays of African Descent and Their Friends, Association of Black Social Workers, Social Work Advisory Board at North Carolina Central University, and several student organizations while attending The Divinity School, Duke University. He is currently the chair for the Community Advisory Board (CAB) for the Duke AIDS Research and Treatment (DART) Center, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina.
This is Reverend Rutherford’s second time being a member of St. John’s MCC. He initially joined St. John’s in 1992 when the church rented space from Community United Church of Christ on Dixie Trail Road. In 1997, he left with Rev. Wanda Floyd to assist in birthing a new church in Durham, Imani MCC of Durham. While at Imani MCC he served on the advisory board and the Pastoral Care team. He returned to St. John’s in 2006 as clergy candidate and rejoined St. John’s that same year as a member. Reverend Rutherford credits St. John’s MCC as being the first church that allowed him to being open to the possibilities of God’s inclusive love. His faith in Jesus Christ has enabled him to become a long term survivor of HIV/AIDS having been diagnosed in 1986 and to be cancer free since January 2000. He is grateful for the grace, mercy, and favor that the Spirit of God has showered upon him.
Welcome to St. John’s MCC where God continues to do new and amazing things through and around the children of God and that includes you. It is no accident that you walked through the doors today. It is no accident that you are reading this letter and it is no accident that you ARE A WHOSOEVER! (John 3:16). We are all fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God. (Psalm 139:14)
In this community of faith, we believe that EVERYONE is of value and a part of God’s family and that includes you even if you are a guest for today. Every week we come together to celebrate who we are and whose we are and it is our prayer that you will continue to come and be a part of this weekly celebration.
We thank you for making the time to come today. We know you could have been anywhere else today but God made it possible for you to be at St. John’s MCC. We appreciate you fulfilling God’s divine appointment for your presence at church today. For that, we are grateful and honored. If there is anything any of us can do, do not hesitate to ask. Everyone you see is a minister of God and our desire is that you become one too.
Peace and blessings,
In 1997, the Rev. Wanda Y. Floyd founded Imani MCC of Durham NC after seeing a vision from God at a district conference in 1996. Before that time, she was a faithful member of St. John’s MCC for ten years and served as Associate Pastor from 1993 to 1997. Imani MCC began in the early spring of 1997 holding bible studies and focus groups. The first service was held on November 23, 1997 with 121 in attendance. The church continues to fill a void in the Triangle Community by being a place of healing for all people. In 1999, Rev. Floyd was ordained as a clergy within Metropolitan Community Churches. In January 2008 she stepped down as founding pastor of Imani MCC and is pursuing her Masters in Divinity at Shaw University Divinity School full-time. She currently serves as Pastor for Congregational Life at St. John’s MCC, Raleigh, NC, USA.
Within the larger LGBTQ community, Rev. Floyd has served on the Board of Directors for the Lesbian and Gay Health Project, Resource Center for Women in the Ministry in the South, North Carolina Lambda Youth Network, and on the Board of Directors for Triangle PFLAG (Parents, Friends of Lesbians and Gays). She has been awarded the “Best Friend of the Leather Community” in 2001 and was MC for the NC Leather Contest in 2000, Outstanding LGBT person in 1997. She has also been featured in the Triangle’s “Independent” Gay Pride issue in 1997 and again in 2000. In 2003, she and her partner were part of a nationwide Human Rights Campaign in connection with gay families and were featured in the New York Times. She is a fellow within the William Friday Wildacres Leadership Initiative which brings together leaders from across North Carolina and serves as co-chair of the North Carolina Religious Coalition for Marriage Equality. She has been featured over the years in local newspapers in connection with faith and sexuality and often speaks at local universities.