A well-known lesbian pastor and activist has a new place of employment at a Presbyterian church in Minnesota.
Community Presbyterian Church in Rochester approved the hire in July, and as of Sunday, Laurene Lafontaine officially became leader of the congregation.
“Laurene has many important qualities to help us grow as a congregation,” said the church in a statement. “She took over a small struggling church made up of older members who literally had the mindset that they were going out of business and after a year, the congregation began to grow and operate with a surplus.”
According to the church website, Laurene was ordained in 1987 after receiving a Masters of Divinity from the Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey. She went on to become a noted LGBT rights activist, as well as starting the AIDS/HIV Interfaith Network of Colorado.
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“Serving now as the pastor of Community Presbyterian Church in Rochester, Minnesota is the fulfillment of a lifelong sense of call to ministry in the local church,” says Lafontaine in her statement on the church’s website. “I absolutely love preaching, teaching and getting to know people. I am excited to be here in Rochester, Minnesota!”
A ceremony for her installment took place on Sunday, and several speakers included both LGBT activists and religious leaders.