Help churches offer LGBT+ people something more than just true

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About

Our Mission

Equip is the premier consulting and training solution for churches aspiring to be places where gay Christians thrive for a lifetime according to a historic sexual ethic.

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Vision

In addition to equipping Christian leaders to better care for gay people according to a historic sexual ethic and teach everyone about God’s love and wisdom for gay people, Equip takes it a step further…

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We help churches prevent the wounds of the closet, raise the bar for everyone’s sexual stewardship, and ensure that vocational singles find lifelong family, not loneliness. We yearn for the Church to become a place where children hear their parents and pastors talk about same-sex attraction in theologically accurate and compassionate ways. So that when, in late elementary school or early middle school, some children realize they are attracted to other boys and girls of the same sex, they no longer respond with shame, fear, or hiding. Instead, we desire for them to share with their parents and pastors because they have heard that God still loves them and has good things for them. We help everyone in your church thrive according to God’s good and weighty wisdom. We do this through long-term partnerships that lead to long-lasting results, beginning with our signature Blueprint Process to identify a vision and strategy customized for your church.

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Beliefs

God has revealed His wisdom for every person’s sexual stewardship through the Church and the Scriptures, including God’s good and weighty wisdom for gay people…

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  • God calls the Church to love and serve those who experience same-sex attraction regardless of what their journeys look like.
  • God loves LGBT+ people and values the gifts, talents, and fellowship they can offer the Body of Christ.
  • God promises a lifetime of sanctification and provision of fullness through Christ to all who seek Him faithfully.
  • People do not choose who they are attracted to, but they do choose how they respond. While we affirm and teach from a historic sexual ethic, we respect all people’s right to follow their own paths.

Equip does not promise change in a person’s same-sex attraction. Equip does not advocate for reparative therapy or sexual orientation change therapy. Learn more about our perspective on “pray the gay away” practices inside churches and counseling centers here. Learn more about what we believe here.

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Meet the Staff

Pieter Valk, LPC

Executive Director

Pieter established Equip in 2014. He’s a writer and speaker about discernment, vocational singleness, and LGBT+ topics according to a historic sexual ethic published in places like Christianity Today and Mere Orthodoxy. Pieter is a teacher and aspiring deacon in the Anglican Church in North America about celibacy and sexuality. He is a founding brother of the Nashville Family of Brothers, an ecumenical monastery building lifelong family for men called to vocational singleness. Pieter is a licensed professional counselor and  specializes in serving gay Christians hoping to steward their sexualities according to a historic sexual ethic. He graduated with Highest Honors in Chemistry from Vanderbilt University, studied at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and earned a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Lipscomb University.

Pieter is motivated by the pain and beauty of his story and the stories of fellow gay Christians submitting their sexualities to the Lordship of Christ. Learn more about Pieter’s story here.

Equip is stewarded by a Board of Directors. Contact them at theboard@equipyourcommunity.org.

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Amber Carroll

Vice President of Impact and Parent Resources

Amber joined Equip in 2019. She leads the prayer team, manages volunteer opportunities, and teaches parents of young kids how to talk to their kids about sex and sexuality, marriage and singleness, intimacy and family, and gender and gender incongruence. She’s the creator of  Equip’s Parent Course, a resource designed to help parents and caregivers of all types have conversations with kids about God’s wisdom for sexual stewardship.

She graduated from Union University in 2008 with a BA in English Literature and Secondary Education. After graduation, Amber taught middle and high school in the public school system for six years.

This work matters to Amber because her ex-husband is gay, and she’s seen firsthand some of the ways the Church didn’t offer the things he needed to thrive in his faith. Amber also has two young kids, and if one of them happens to be LGBT+, she wants them to grow up hearing from the Church that God loves LGBT+ people and has good things for them. Learn more about Amber’s story here.

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Jesse White

Gender incongruence Resource Specialist

Jesse began working with Equip in the fall of 2022. A graduate from the College at Southeastern in 2021 with a Bachelors in Global Studies, Jesse is currently working on a Master’s in Marriage and Family Counseling at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Once graduating with an LMFT, Jesse wants to focus on abuse and trauma therapy and then practice counseling as a missionary in Southeast Asia (hopefully Thailand or Cambodia).

Alongside working with Equip, Jesse started a support group for sexual and gender minorities at a local church and offered training and equipping opportunities to the broader congregation on how to better engage people outside the church who share these experiences.

Jesse is driven by a desire for other sexual and gender minorities to experience God’s love. Despite years of hurt and abuse from former churches, Jesse has undeniably seen God’s faithfulness through the church and wants to continue to better equip the church to care well for the hurting and broken.

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Board of Directors

Equip is stewarded by a Board of Directors. You may contact them at:

theboard@equipyourcommunity.org

Dr. Janet Blevins Dean

Professor of Pastoral Counseling Education, Asbury Theological Seminary

Author of Listening to Sexual Minorities

Board Chair

Dr. Yucan Chiu

Pastor & Director of the Ethnos Network

Dr. Leonard Allen

Dean of Lipscomb University College of Bible & Ministry

Chase Harriman

MNPD Police Officer and Former Business Analyst

Finance chair

Laura Potter

Catholic Worship Leader and Youth Evangelist

Rev Dr. Erin Moniz

ACNA Deacon, Baylor University Chaplain

Lauren Voncannon

Communications & Marketing Strategist

Lauren joined Equip in August 2020. She serves as the Marketing and Communications Strategist. Lauren is passionate about equipping Christians to better love sexual minorities. Lauren envisions the standardization of compassionate conversations regarding sexual minorities in the Church. She just wrote her first book, Trust Me, I’ve Got This, which details her own journey with same sex attraction, while also being a Christian.

She earned a BS in Communications from Liberty University in 2018 where she worked in several different roles from campus leadership to co-hosting a radio show. Now a Tennessee resident, Lauren is originally from North Carolina.

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Join the team

Do you have expertise in fund development, web development, or consulting/training? Are you passionate about helping churches become places where gay people can thrive according to God’s wisdom? Contact us today to start a conversation!

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Pastors,

Ready to take the first step towards equipping your church to better care for gay people?
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Contact Us

info@equipyourcommunity.org 
(615) 787-8205