“We are eternally loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ.....so restore us
to yourself O Lord, that we may return to you and renew the days we once knew”
(Jude verse 1 and Lamentations 5:21))
For a short while, a month or two, Deer Force will “go dark” because I am relocating from Sarasota, FL to Los
Angeles, CA. Full circle, back to where my spiritual life got its kick-start after being dormant. It wasn’t long
after Troy Perry began Metropolitan Church in 1968 that I joined up - a year later in 1969 to be exact. No
one in their wildest dreams could have imagined there’d be a Bible based church soliciting disenfranchised
gays and lesbians, a church where marginalized people would stand up and tell the world they were God’s
children too. But that’s what happened.
When my turn came, I told the world that we were not only born-again, but that we were baptized in the Spirit.
But, just like in other churches that second step of intimacy with the Holy Spirit is never realized by most
Christians. The percentage of truly Spirit-filled Christians in its purest form, as evidenced by speaking in
tongues, like in Baptist or Catholic churches for example, is embarrassingly low. Almost non-existent. That’s
also true within MCC.
Then, a few of us took it another step and pointed out that Jesus said “Sure, some are born that way from
the womb. No big deal.” (Matt 19:12) That’s how I came up with the title A Fairy in the Palace for my first
book which was based on Hegai, the eunuch in King Xerxes’ palace. Beautician, hairdresser - gay written all
over him. As far as I know, I was the first one who outed him.
But back to MCC, I’ve been in and out of the denomination for over forty years. It’s a fledgling one with the
distinction of being the only denomination borne in the USA. The primary attraction is that it’s a place where
gay, lesbian, transgender, and others can feel comfortable among their peers and hopefully grow in their
faith and worship without the traditional condemnation we’ve all experienced in our pasts. And I do mean
"all," none of us escaped the right wing wrath.
That “past” is still the present by the way. I just got it between the eyes at Church of Hope in Sarasota a few
weeks ago when a youth pastor combined murderers, drug addicts, and gays in the same sentence. True to
form though, he never used word gay. Too personal I guess. It’s always the more clinical word “homosexual”
and presented in such a way as if for some strange reason God condemns His own creation. Like God has
no idea what He’s doing. They’re still holding to the fallacy that gay is a choice regardless of what the pope
has discerned as well as Exodus International, Hillsong, etc. I got the “choice” misconception from a Jehovah’
s Witness who came calling at my front door the other day too. Still clinging to bigotry and a gospel of hate
disguised behind a smile.
In my day I’ve pastored, counseled, served on enough committees to sink the Titanic, laughed and cried.
MCC has been good in many ways, disappointing in as many others. For many parishioners gay is priority
and Christianity a distant second. Or third if you throw the political emphasis in the middle. And because the
common denominator is indeed gay, the worship style is all over the place. Some churches lean toward
formality with robes and Catholicism style rituals, while others, although the vast minority, lean charismatic in
a token way, usually superficially. Most talk the talk but don’t walk the walk and there’s no light at the end of
that tunnel. In other words, the names change but the game's the same.
Because I was a minority within a minority who wanted some real meat, I looked elsewhere for in-depth
feeding. Spending time at a monastery was a great experience but I can’t say that I made any spiritual
strides. The outstanding saints, the gay men who God anointed during the 60’s and 70’s, came and went as
if they were only passing through. God took all of them early. There is something about a gay man that
when he’s spiritually inclined he zooms into God’s presence and favor above and beyond anything most
straight men can ever know. That’s just the way it is. Biblical David who was the man after God’s own heart
is an example.
The 70’s was the time when God released the anointing on three such men, two of whom I knew
personally. The first was Lonnie Frisbee who stripped naked in the desert and demanded that God revel
Himself. God did and Lonnie became a famous prophet and faith healer internationally. I missed out with
Lonnie but I caught the next one - Brant Baker. Jerry Ragsdale from MCC had told me about Shekinah
Fellowship where Brant ministered and I hightailed it down to Long Beach faster than a roadrunner at a
convention. My old gang from MCC in LA followed suit and we were going down regularly to Long Beach to
the Shekinah miracle healing services where Brant preached and brought Jesus’ healing power to the
masses. Right from the git-go when I was exposed to the presence of the Holy Spirit through the Shekinah
glory I wanted more. Brant became a close friend and through him I began to understand God’s
compassionate, unfailing, unending love for everyone, not just certain straight ethnic groups.
As for the third one, Jerry Sinclair, there’s no doubt in my mind that this is first mention of him in this
particular way. Right wingers live in denial and cover evidence better than drug lords, and therefore the gay
aspect of Jerry has been wiped off the record. Reminds me of Bill Gaither trying to erase all references to
Marsha Stevens after he learned she was a lesbian. She wrote For Those Tears I Died. He featured her on
his TV show and all was well until the bigots jumped on it and Bill took the easy way out. Just like Jan and
Paul Crouch did with Brant when Pastor Sanders from the Assembly of God in North Hollywood outed him.
But Jerry absolutely deserves mention because he wrote the hymn Alleluia which has become a staple in
Christendom. He is the third of these men who God anointed during that time and his street ministry among
other accomplishments was powerful and important. His witness for Christ undeniable. He traveled the world
with Arthur Blessitt. God took all three of these great saints home while they were relatively young. Like He
did with Jesus. I choose to believe these were men after God’s own heart just like King David and that God
treasured their intimacy so dearly that He couldn’t tarry any longer without taking them to Heaven to be with
Him. These men are examples of the brightness capable of shining through the maze. They dared to “come
out from among them” (II Cor 6:17) to walk in God’s anointing and not get swallowed up in the business of a
denomination or hiding behind tradition.
Jesus is the shepherd who cares for us, His sheep, and preserves us until the day we will behold His glory,
His resplendency, His mighty Being. Lonnie, Brant, and Jerry all dared to trust in God instead of people. It’s
not the easy choice, never was. Has God anointed you, but somehow that passion got lost in the shuffle
along the way? If God has chosen you and you know in your heart that an anointing was placed upon you,
you’d better wake up and step up because in the final analysis it’s you and God and no one else.