Kaci and Holly Clark-Porter were ordained at the First & Central Presbyterian Church Sunday, making them the first same-sex couple to ever be ordained jointly as ministers by the Presbyterian Church.
“Knowledge of ourselves begins with knowledge of God,” Kaci, the church’s first openly gay pastor said.
Her wife of three years agreed.
“It’s believing with your whole heart that God has made you who you are,” Holly said. “I felt that I was dishonest and separated from God before I came out.”
Holly launched a queer worshipping community in Wilmington called Big Gay Church. Members meet at First & Central’s chapel, coffee shops and bars to discuss how theories of homosexuality can be misinterpreted.
Holly said, “About half the worshippers hail from fundamentalist Christian upbringings where they never felt completely accepted.”
Pastor Doug Gerdts said First & Central was one of the first Presbyterian churches to rally for ordaining openly gay leaders in the late 1990s.
“There were many, many years that we thought the denomination would never be accepting of openly gay and lesbian clergy,” Gerdts said. “We see ourselves moving in a more faithful, Christ-like place. And doing so for a segment of the population that, at times, has been brutally excluded.”
After the 90-minute traditional ceremony, the couple had a Texas-style hoedown with Dog Head beer in their downtown home.
“We’re just thrilled that they, as a couple, could be celebrating this on the same day,” Kaci’s father said. “The fact that they’re a same-sex couple may be a big deal to someone else, but not to us.”