We loved this conversation so much, we didn't want to wait to Tuesday to release it. In the second half of our look at queer faith, we sit down and talk to Dr. Scott Jones, Senior Minister of the First Central Congregational Church in Omaha, Nebraska. I loved talking to Scott, because as a fellow Oklahoman, we know a lot of the same people, but our lives had never crossed before. I wanted to talk to Scott because I read his book, Open: A Memoir of Faith, Family, and Sexuality in the Heartland, and it affected me deeply. As a teen attending a baptist church in Oklahoma City, I was encouraged to consider becoming a minister. As a junior deacon, I had done a few religious orator events, and was dedicated enough that I actually missed my senior prom to travel to some church event in New Mexico. I was dedicated to the idea of the black church. But secretly, I knew that I was different inside. I knew that my conflicts with my sexual orientation and gender identity meant that it was never a life I could have. And really since coming out, church is not a big part of my life. And I don't think I've stepped inside one, except to vote, in about 4 years. All that to say, talking to Scott and reading his book has forced me to reexamine my feelings about God, church, faith, and really the point of it all.
Scott Jones grew up in a small town in Oklahoma knowing since the age of five that he wanted to be a preacher. Then at age 29, he came out as a gay man, while serving as a youth minister at a Baptist church in Texas. He is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and received his Ph. D. in philosophy from the University of Oklahoma. He has previously pastored churches in Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma. Today Scott and his husband, Michael, are the delighted parents of a kindergartener. Go read his book!