I grew up as a child of the church. My earliest memories of church are Presbyterian and Baptist. As an adolescent in a fundamentalist church I thought to myself, “Church doesn’t have to be this dowdy and old-fashioned.” In high school I felt called to what Baptists call “full-time Christian service.” At the time I said, “I don’t know what God wants me to do because I don’t know what the Church will need in the future.” I decided to go to a Bible college, believing that a good Bible education would help me in whatever I did.
When I graduated from Simpson College (C&MA) in 1977 I didn’t pursue ordination. I thought to myself, “If I am going to lead laypeople in their ministries, I need to know what it is like to minister as a layman.” Little did I know that God had both of these plans for me, full-time Christian service and ministering as a layperson.
Diane and I fellowshipped and ministered in the Christian and Missionary Alliance for about fifteen years. After a brief stopover in a community church we migrated to the United Methodist Church and have been members of two UMC churches.
My son Jonathan came out during high school. He had been president of the high school Bible Club, and was on the Praise Team at church. When he came out, evangelicals silenced him in both settings. He attempted suicide three times after coming out, but has recovered and is vigorously involved in local political campaigns.
After Jonathan came out, I became heavily involved in PFLAG and GLSEN, and co-produced the documentary, Holding Families Together, which you can view on four YouTube segments.
Who is Ron Goetz?
- In high school they called me Reverend Ron.
- My pastor calls me a Member of the Loyal Opposition.
- My wife calls me Bad Boy.
- My grandkids call me Papa.
- In jail they called me Protester.
- In hospital waiting rooms they call me “Gotez” or “Goats.”
- On conservative websites they call me “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” and worse.
Who am I?
I’m just a guy trying to do my best with the hand God dealt me–just trying to live with the results of my past decisions and mistakes to make the best of the rest of my life. Like some sort of alchemist I’m trying to transmute regret into hope, and God is blessing those efforts.
For more, click on Some Autobiography. There are posts about experiences that had special meaning for me.
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