ABOUT SIW

We are a Christian organization that helps to bridge the gap between the Christian community and the LGBTQ community through awareness, education, and support.

 

Strength in Weakness Ministries assists Christians in hundreds of churches on every continent in the world. We are teaching evangelists, pastors, church leaders, and pastoral care workers, who through our workshops help Christians to effectively love and counsel other Christians who are same-gender attracted or transgender, and parents, spouses, and siblings dealing with this challenge in their family relationships. We also help with reaching out to our gay neighbors, friends, and co-workers for Christ.

Journey Together.

Humbly.  Respectfully.

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EST.

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2006

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© Strength in Weakness ministries.  All Rights Reserved.   Powered by Ninja Monkey

 

EXECUTIVE STAFF

When I started this ministry in '06 my goal was to help 30 Christians who, like me, were same-sex attracted. Since those humble beginnings SIW has helped thousands in 58 countries. I've taught over 100,000 people in churches, universities, and faith-based groups globally, have written six books and have had a documentary movie made about my life and this ministry called FINDING GUY.

 

Before I became a Christian I lived an active gay life until I was 24 years old. After becoming a Christian I left that life behind forever. Over the years God has blessed my life tremendously. I married my best friend, Cathy, in 1991 and have four amazing kids. My interests? I am a news junkie, love anything political, love to read, and am an avid hockey and baseball fan.

Executive Director and Founder

Guy Hammond

I live in Tallahassee, Florida with my wife, Deb. We are the proud parents of three amazing adult children: two daughters and a son. Both daughters are same-sex attracted. Previously my wife and I spent 15 years in full-time Christian ministry. Along with my many other roles within my local church and community, I now also volunteer for Strength in Weakness Ministries offering help and perspective to parents and families of same-sex-attracted loved ones. Professionally, I work for the State of Florida Department of Education as the Assistant Deputy Commissioner - Data Systems.

Chief Operating Officer & Family Ministry - Helping Dads and Brothers

Stephen Bowen

I live in Tallahassee, Florida with my husband, Stephen. We are the proud parents of three amazing adult children: two daughters and a son. Both daughters are same-sex attracted. Previously my husband and I spent 15 years in full-time Christian ministry. Along with my many other roles within my local church and community, I now also volunteer for Strength in Weakness Ministries offering help and perspective to parents and families of same-sex-attracted loved ones. I am also a three-time cancer survivor and deal with chronic illnesses on a daily basis. My love for and walk with God enable me to accept, learn from, and enjoy the journey that He has given me.

Family Ministry - Helping Moms and Sisters

Deb Bowen

I bring rich experience to this unique area of ministry; I was raised by a lesbian mother and have a daughter who currently lives a lesbian lifestyle. This has led me on a very profound journey of learning how to emulate God's heart of grace and compassion. As well, I have been a vibrant and active member of a strong Christian community for almost 30 years in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

 

I am qualified to offer practical and Christ-centred support and advice to Christians who have a family member who is homosexual. I have a background in pediatric nursing, and as a result, have worked for almost two decades with children who have a variety of special needs. I am currently employed by the Toronto District School Board working with children who have autism. I have raised two amazing children and am now a grandmother.

Family Ministry - Helping Moms and Sisters

Kathy McBrien

I became a Christian in Feb 2010 while living in Ireland. Before becoming a follower of Jesus I looked for fulfillment in every person, place, or thing I could, including being heavily involved with the LGBTQ community and same-sex relationships. I have a BA in Interpersonal Communication from East Carolina University and I am now finishing up my MA in Counseling from Harding School of Theology and will be a Licensed Professional Counselor by Summer 2019. 

 

I live in eastern NC with my wonderful husband and newborn son. I am committed to soaking up every bit of life and enjoy traveling, laughing, and spending time with family and friends. As a same-sex-attracted and loyal follower of Christ, I am well equipped to offer my support and walk alongside you as you navigate this difficult time in life. 

Women's Ministry

Ellen Radcliff

I have been a vibrant follower of Christ since my conversion while attending the University of San Diego. I was born and raised in Northern California where I pursued a basketball career with a full scholarship. There I contributed to record-breaking seasons from 2008-2012. It was on campus, during the summer of 2010, where I was introduced to some great Christians who were eager to help me in my walk with God.

 

I received a bachelor's degree in Communications with a minor in Leadership Studies. I continue to exercise my leadership skills in my role assisting the Strength in Weakness ministry helping teens and campus-age students and overseeing the support group system. Years of living in same-sex relationships before becoming a disciple equipped me well to mentor and advise young men and women as I continue to live as a same-sex-attracted disciple. I married in May 2015 and am enjoying living life to the full in my new role as a wife, and now as a mother!

Teen/College and Women's Support Groups 

Morgan Roberts

I have experienced transgender feelings since early childhood and, prior to becoming a follower of Jesus in 2009, lived as a woman for six years. I am both same- and opposite-sex attracted and acted on these attractions with others from early childhood through college. Since becoming a Christian, I have lived as a man, as God created me, and have not acted on my same-sex attractions with anyone. My experiences have enabled me to encourage many of my brothers and sisters in Christ and help those who face challenges similar to mine.

 

Apart from my volunteer work at Strength in Weakness Ministries, I am a full-time accountant. I received my Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Master of Accounting degrees from the University of Florida in 2009 and am licensed as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Since graduating college, I have worked as a tax accountant for various companies, including Disney, and am currently with Netflix in Los Angeles. I enjoy hiking, tennis, reading, watching movies and television, and feeding my inner child by going to theme parks.

Transgender Ministry & Men's Support Groups

Brandon Redler

I am passionate about helping people heal from past hurts and grow closer to Christ. As a child I experienced the tragic loss of my sister and violent sexual abuse at the hands of a family member. After two failed marriages, I embraced the homosexual lifestyle for many years. In 1998, shortly after giving my life to Christ, I was diagnosed with HIV. Over the years I have watched many people that I cared about lose the battle with HIV as my own health has continued to deteriorate. Bringing more than two decades of experience as a therapist, I am eager to help those who struggle with homosexuality and those with HIV find the hope and healing that only God can provide. 

 

In spite of my battle with HIV, I serve in multiple capacities within my local church in Queens, NY and have served within the Strength in Weakness ministry since 2010. I mentor and help several men in my local congregation and all over the world. 

AIDS & HIV

Daniel Forschner

Barry has been a faithful Christian and member of his local church in Denver, Colorado for almost three decades, where he also serves as a deacon. He and his wife, Sharon, have one daughter and two granddaughters. Coming from a same-sex-attracted background, Barry sadly spent much of his youth struggling with suicidal ideation stemming from his struggle with homosexuality. Since becoming a Christian and experiencing tremendous victory over his homosexual temptations, Barry has always had a desire to serve other same-sex-attracted followers of Jesus, helping them to live victorious lives in Christ. Barry and Sharon have been married since 1994.

Marrieds Ministry

Barry Underwood

Sharon became a Christian in 1988 in Denver, Colorado at the same church she and her husband, Barry, still attend. She is an accountant for a real estate company and also a small business owner. In 1993 she met her future husband Barry. Soon Sharon became aware of his struggle with same-sex attraction during their pre-marriage counselling. After much prayer she knew that he was the man God had chosen for her, and they were married in December 1994. Sharon has learned that Barry’s struggle is not an easy battle, but she has continued to work alongside him as he has enjoyed success in overcoming these temptations and living a faithful Christian life. 

Marrieds Ministry

Sharon Underwood

Yo e sido un Cristiano fiel desde 1986. Eso es solamente por la gracia de Dios. Mi esposa y yo fuimos parte de un grupo misionero de Iglesia plantada en Sao Paulo Brasil en 1987. Vivimos en Brasil por casi 4 anos y fue donde nos casamos y tuvimos nuestro primer hijo. Regresamos a Los Estados unidos en 1990 y vivimos en Miami Florida. Yo e sido atraído al mismo genero desde mi adolescencia, pero no le comente a nadie sobre mis luchas hasta mas o menos 5 anos atrás.  Dios, en su misericordia, me a dado tantas victorias con homosexualidad en estos 34 anos. Cuando salí a la Iglesia y a mi esposa, reconocí que quería ayudar a todos con estas luchas y batallas que nos causa tentación como inseguridad, soledad y confusión. Yo soy Cubano. Kathy y yo llevamos casados ya 30 anos  y tenemos 3 hijos y una nieta.

Spanish Ministry Men

Rolando Gonzalez

Yo e sido un Cristiano fiel desde 1986. Eso es solamente por la gracia de Dios. Mi esposa y yo fuimos parte de un grupo misionero de Iglesia plantada en Sao Paulo Brasil en 1987. Vivimos en Brasil por casi 4 anos y fue donde nos casamos y tuvimos nuestro primer hijo. Regresamos a Los Estados unidos en 1990 y vivimos en Miami Florida. Yo e sido atraído al mismo genero desde mi adolescencia, pero no le comente a nadie sobre mis luchas hasta mas o menos 5 anos atrás.  Dios, en su misericordia, me a dado tantas victorias con homosexualidad en estos 34 anos. Cuando salí a la Iglesia y a mi esposa, reconocí que quería ayudar a todos con estas luchas y batallas que nos causa tentación como inseguridad, soledad y confusión. Yo soy Cubano. Kathy y yo llevamos casados ya 30 anos  y tenemos 3 hijos y una nieta.

Spanish Ministry Women

Kathy Gonzalez 

 

ADVISORY BOARD

Dr. F. LaGard Smith has been a professor of law for over 40 years and is a best-selling Christian author. Before beginning his teaching career, Smith was District Attorney for Malheur County, Oregon. Professor Smith has taught Criminal Law and Constitutional Criminal Procedure at Pepperdine, Liberty, and most recently at Faulkner University. For five years, Smith served as Scholar in Residence for Christian Studies at Lipscomb University. In addition to his career in law and time spent as a frequent guest lecturer, Smith has authored some 30 books, including devotionals such as the popular Meeting God in Quiet Places. Dr. Smith is the arranger and narrator of The Daily Bible(the NIV in chronological order). As often as they can, LaGard and his wife, Ruth, enjoy time in their cottage in the bucolic Cotswold countryside of England, northwest of London, where he does much of his writing.

Professor/Author

Dr. F. LaGard Smith

Dr. Jacoby is an internationally recognized authority in the areas of biblical training and Christian apologetics, and has taught tens of thousands in over 125 nations on every continent. He received a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University in 1982, and then underwent three years of postgraduate study at Kings College London. Douglas received his doctorate from Drew University in 1999.  He is a Member of the American Scientific Affiliation, Society of Biblical Literature, Biblical Archaeology Society, Evangelical Philosophical Society, and the American Association of Christian Counselors. He has authored 33 books, created numerous DVDs and audio sets, and produced other materials that are benefiting many through his International Bible Teaching Ministry. His website (www.douglasjacoby.com) contains more than 10,000 pages of biblical teaching resources. He also serves as Adjunct Professor (M.A. in Theology) at both Lincoln Christian University and in the Rocky Mountain School of Theology & Ministry. Dr. Jacoby is married with three children, and lives in the greater Atlanta area, Georgia (United States of America).

Bible Teacher

Dr. Douglas Jacoby

Dr. Konzen is the director for the Center for Sexuality in San Diego, CA. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist, a certified sex therapist, and a certified chemical dependency counsellor. She is also a nationally award-winning researcher, an international speaker, the author of Graduated Intimacy: A Guided Intervention for Increasing Sexual Intimacy in Marriageand an adjunct professor at Alliant International University, San Diego and Bethel Seminary, San Diego. Jennifer and her husband, Tim, lead a married ministry in the San Diego Church of Christ. They have four wonderful children.

Therapist/Speaker

Dr. Jennifer Konzen

Andrew Lewis is the co-lead evangelist for the Toronto Church of Christ. Along with his wife, Suzette, he also leads a multicultural suburban ministry known as Milestone Christian Ministries (www.milestoneministries.ca). As a Qualified Mediator, Counsellor, and experienced trainer in Restorative Justice, he brings a rare mix of consultant and speaker. He specializes in helping people effectively embrace and triumph over societal challenges without becoming bitter or scared in the process. As a community advocate, he is committed to volunteerism where it brings people together; the advantaged and the disadvantaged, despite their differences. Andrew utilizes his diverse background as a licensed commercial pilot and seasoned evangelist to respect and relate to people regardless of creed, class, or culture.

Pastor

Andrew Lewis

 

WHAT WE BELIEVE 

The Guiding Principles and Goals of Strength in Weakness Ministries

  • We assert that God's biblical design for sexual intimacy is that it is to be exclusively reserved for the relationship between a man and a woman bound together in marriage. (Genesis 2:18-25; Mark 10:7-8) 

  • We believe that all people are created in the image of God and are precious to Him, regardless of one's sexual orientation or chosen lifestyle, and are to be treated with respect and dignity.

  • We fully recognize that many in society celebrate and embrace homosexuality and do not agree with the stance taken by this ministry. We respect their freedom to choose as they desire. It is therefore not our intention to make judgements on, or to criticize, those who do not hold to the Christian sexual ethic (1 Corinthians 5:12). However, we also recognize that there are others who, also by that same freedom of choice, desire to keep to God's will for human sexuality as found in Scripture, thereby deciding not to celebrate or embrace their same-gender attractions, but rather to learn how to deny them daily in submission to God. It is for these individuals that this ministry exists.

  • We exist to offer support and Christian camaraderie in a secure and confidential atmosphere for Christians who come from a homosexual past and who currently live with unwanted same-gender attractions. We recognize that all of us are at different places in our journey to find healing and that we must be tenderly patient with those who have been trapped in sinful and dysfunctional activities that separate them from the will that God has for their lives, while encouraging them to hold to the standard of righteousness as found in Scripture. (Galatians 6:1)

  • We endeavor to help same-gender-attracted Christians recognize that though they did not choose this as their sexual orientation, they do have the freedom in Christ to choose the path of self-denial and obedience to God in the daily decisions they make. (Romans 6:15-22). This is not offered as a one-dimensional antidote, for we appreciate that the issues are complex, but rather as a profession that submission to God in personal righteousness must be a fundamental component of one's life if true healing is ever to be fully realized, regardless of what kind of therapy one uses to discover that healing. (Luke 9:23-24)

  • We want same-gender-attracted disciples of Jesus to be reminded that everything Satan has meant for evil, God can use for good. They are not victims; rather they are a part of the solution, beacons on a hill in a dark and sinful world where they can help others find forgiveness and healing just as they have. The Lord is not ashamed or embarrassed of Christians who are same-gender attracted, and He wants to use their lives to glorify Him whether that orientation ever changes or not. (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)

  • Same-gender-attracted disciples are simply God's children. They are not gay or lesbian or bi-sexual or transgender or homosexual or even ex-gay. There is so much more to all of their lives than their sexual orientation, sexual identity issues, or other areas that are broken. They are great husbands and wives, loving parents, loyal and trustworthy friends, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, trusted employees, hard-working students, and helpful contributors to their communities and churches; but first and foremost they are Christians, loved sons and daughters of God. (2 Corinthians 5:16-17)

  • This ministry desires to offer education to the church in order to demystify and destigmatize homosexuality and same-gender attractions, so that our churches can truly be caring, safe sanctuaries for the same-gender-attracted Christian to find love and acceptance. We want to offer practical tools that all can learn in order to truly offer the love of Jesus in a pragmatic way to anyone with sexual identity issues. May the homosexual who comes through our doors to find God, and the same-gender-attracted brother or sister who we worship beside never again have to fear that they will not be accepted and loved with open arms and treated in a respectful manner in Jesus' church. May we all learn to journey together—humbly, respectfully, and compassionately.

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