Live! Love! Serve!
- NOT Religion
The Rev. Vance E. Haywood, Jr.
Rev. Vance E. Haywood, Jr. became the fifth pastor of St. John’s MCC in February 2018. Vance (no titles) is his preferred introduction. Vance was affiliated with the Church of God in his childhood through the age of 20. He stepped away from “the Church,” unable to reconcile whom he knew himself to be with the teaching about God being presented by others. Vance joined the Metropolitan Community Church movement in 2008 after experiencing God anew a few years earlier during a drag performance of a traditional gospel song by Taj Mahal (RIP) at Legends Night Club. If you ask Vance if he is religious, his answer will be an adamant: “Religion has been and is still a source of great pain and suffering. Jesus came to overturn harmful religious practices and simply offer life and love to hurting people in a hurting world. I see it as my call to do the same, as best I can, with God’s help.”
As Pastor, Vance also coordinates our Worship Experiences and Outreach into the Community.
Assistant to the Lead Pastor
Jane is a great person but hasn't sent a bio yet.
Ministry of Congregational Care
Fred is a great person but hasn't sent a bio yet.
Ministry of Social Action and Justice
Rick first came to St. John’s MCC in 2001. He has been actively involved in several ministries over the years. He is currently involved in the fellowship and welcome ministries. He is also an active pastoral care minister. Rick has a passion for serving the community and those in need. He currently holds a position as the social justice coordinator for the community center at St. John’s MCC. In Rick’s spare time he loves traveling with his husband of 26 years and their three adopted children.
Ministry of Music
Robby is a great person but hasn't sent a bio yet.
Ministry of Spiritual Growth
From the time he first came in the back door and tried to blend in next to the window in 1995, Jim Manchester knew that St. John’s MCC would become his spiritual home. A former Southern Baptist minister, he found himself involved in bible study, music ministry, and the small group ministry right away, and soon he began working on the website and other ministries. Jim now leads our Spiritual Development ministry, provides worship assistance, and still works on the website … keeping our community up to date.
Board of Trustees Chair
Growing up, Al Williams’ faith tradition was a blend of Baptist and Church of Christ Disciples of Christ. Many years ago, despite the old tapes that he had been fed over decades, he finally realized that God loved him just as he was with the help of St. John’s MCC. The concept of building and relying on a personal relationship with God, rather than on the “yokes of religion” helped Al understand the true meaning of following Christ. Al leads the Board of Trustees and is involved in other ministries.
Ministry of Hospitality/Fellowship
Dela is a great person but hasn't sent a bio yet.
Calvin is a great person but hasn't sent a bio yet.
Worship Volunteer Coordinator
Richard is a great person but hasn't sent a bio yet.
Mickey is a great person but hasn't sent a bio yet.
Audio Visual Team
When Jay walked into Willie White and Robert Pace’s apartment on Morgan Street in February 1976, he had no idea that this was the first step toward founding a new church congregation. But before the evening was over, he knew that Willie and Robert shared Jay’s sincere Christian faith despite being from very different faith backgrounds. And that diversity, beginning with doctrine and ethnicity, defined St. John’s MCC then and now as it is composed of many different denominational backgrounds and ethnicities. Jay served many years on the Board of Directors, as well as serving on numerous committees. He has represented St. John’s as Lay Delegate at many General Conferences over the years. An early passion was recording the worship services and making audio cassettes of services available to folks who could not attend or who wanted to take that particular experience with them. That passion continues today as he records audio as well as video for distribution and for archive purposes. And he still serves as Lay Delegate.
Mike Gauss has always had a deep personal relationship with God. While he found religious services and rituals beautiful, he did not connect to God in that way. Then, at the invitation of a friend in 2001, he showed up one Sunday evening at St. John’s MCC and felt God’s call to make serving here his avocation. Mike has served in a variety of roles focused on moving God’s vision for the church forward and shaping the experience of St. John’s for others. Mike is a private, behind the scenes type person who takes his work with the church very seriously. He currently serves as part of the AV team, sits on the board of COAH, is a regular volunteer with the community center, and helps maintain the facilities and equipment.
Steven is a great person but hasn't sent a bio yet.
Joyce is a great person but hasn't sent a bio yet.
Juanice is a great person but hasn't sent a bio yet.
Board of Directors
Vance is a great person but hasn't sent a bio for this section yet.
Mark is a great person but hasn't sent a bio yet.
Bob is a great person but hasn't sent a bio yet.
Marty has been a member of St. John’s MCC since 1994. He says: “My background is Northern Baptist followed by Midwest Presbyterian). I have been on the Board for at least seven years (I can’t actually remember how long), where I currently serve as the Secretary, taking minutes at the meetings, as well as helping count the offering on Sundays and signing checks.”
Willie is a great person but hasn't sent a bio yet.
Calvin is a great person but hasn't sent a bio yet.
St. John’s MCC is part of the global movement of Metropolitan Community Churches. Together, we are compelled by an unfinished calling and a prophetic destiny. We are a global movement of spiritually and sexually diverse people who are fully awake to God’s enduring love. Following the example of Jesus and empowered by the Spirit, we seek to build leading-edge church communities that demand, proclaim, and do justice in the world.
This App gives access to a list of upcoming ministry opportunities and events at St. John's MCC's Ministry Facility. You can use it to access your Volunteer Schedule quickly. In addition, the App provides information about the work of the Church that you can use while you're on the go and speaking with friends.
The St. John's MCC App is available for iOS devices on the App Store and for Android devices on Google Play. The App is quite small and downloads quickly. Tap below to get the App!
A Recent Service on Facebook...
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1976 - Began as a Bible Study
St. John’s Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) began as a small group of individuals that came together on the last Sunday in February 1976 to study the Gospel of John. Facilitated by The Rev. Willie White and his partner, Robert Pace, the group continued to meet and by June of 1976, voted to affiliate with the MCC denomination. Rev. White, who pastored St. John’s from 1976 to 1981, began a relationship with the Campus Ministry of N. C. State University which continues today. Other needs of the Lesbian and Gay Community were addressed by St. John’s in those early days including anonymous STD screening and rap groups. Within a year of its founding, the church began meeting at Community United Church of Christ. This mutually nurturing relationship lasted 17 years, until our first property was purchased.
St. John’s second pastor, The Rev. June Norris, was the first heterosexual woman to be ordained in the United Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC) and was previously the pastor of an MCC outreach effort in Fayetteville. She served St; John’s from 1981 to 1988 and continued St. John’s participation both in the LGBT Community and the community-at-large, including offering testimony before the Raleigh City Council regarding non-discrimination clauses as well as participation in North Carolina Pride events. During her tenure, the diversity that has always been a central hallmark at St. John’s was strengthened.
St. John’s found its third pastor, The Rev. Wayne Lindsey, among their membership. He had served as worship coordinator after the resignation of Rev. Norris, and after being asked to preach more and more often was then encouraged to apply to officially become pastor. In the mid-1990’s, St. John’s began a serious search for a worship center culminating with the purchase of a ministry complex at 805 Glenwood Ave.
During this time, St. John’s also became active in the Raleigh Religious Network for Lesbian and Gay Equality. Additionally, Rev. Lindsey worked with Lay Delegate Stan Kimer and the Gulf Lower Atlantic District (GLAD) to secure UFMCC’s membership in the North Carolina Council of Churches.
During this era St. John’s offered two very different worship experiences, the AM service being more traditional eventually with the Morning Choir and the evening service being more evangelical even Pentecostal with music provided by the Voices of St. John’s. The Voices travelled to the UFMCC denominational General Conference and St. John’s received the denomination’s award for multi-cultural programing in 1997. Also during this time St. John’s Assistant Pastor Wanda Floyd left St. John’s to found Imani MCC in Durham.
After Rev. Lindsey resigned as pastor in 1999, St. John’s had a lay led period of transition. Terri Steed (now Rev.) was worship coordinator and many guest speakers filled our pulpit.
In July of 2001, St. John’s called The Rev. Brendan Y. Boone to serve as its fourth Pastor. Rev. Boone had been a deacon at New Life MCC in Norfolk, a long-time member and Clerk of the Mid-Atlantic District Committee, and most recently an Assistant Pastor at MCC-DC. Committed to “find them, bring them in, grow them up and send them out” Rev. Boone’s, stirring preaching and inspirational leadership blessed St. John’s with a new vision for ministry. Four clergy trained and were ordained with Rev. Boone’s leadership and many more lay leaders found their ministries. In 2014 Rev. Boone moved on from St. John’s at the end of December 2015 initially to follow his wife who made an essential career move to Florida.
Rev. R. David Smith, former pastor of MCC Baltimore for 15 years, also a former member of the Mid-Atlantic District Committee and most recently Assistant Pastor at Vision of Hope MCC in Lancaster and York, PA, was appointed as Interim Pastor of St. John’s in March of 2016. He served during a time of intentional transition, preparing us for our next settled Pastor.
St. John’s MCC found its fifth and current Pastor among the membership once again! The Rev. Vance Haywood was elected by the congregation unanimously in December 2017 and began his term as Pastor on January 1, 2018. Vance prior to becoming Pastor, had served the past 2 years as Worship Coordinator and was a part of the Preaching Team that worked together during our transitional period.
Prior to becoming Worship Coordinator, Vance served as a Deacon for several years and was a member of the Board of Trustees.
Today Vance is leading the church in our charge to Build Relationship and Not Religion by being the Church and putting our words into Action in our Communities.
Look for us in our new home at 622 Maywood Avenue near Raleigh’s Farmer’s Market between Saunders and Lake Wheeler just off I-40. After many years in our own building on Glenwood we decided to find a more spacious building with more parking and all meeting spaces located on the same level. Come see what God has provided and what God is doing with us.