Rev. Terri Miller, the founding pastor of Valley Ministries, MCC, became a licensed minister with UFMCC in 1996. She served on the ministerial staff of River City, MCC in Sacramento, CA from 1995 - 1999. She then followed the call that God had placed on her life to begin a new work in Stockton, CA. Rev. Terri is a dedicated and faithful leader who demonstrates the love of God to those whom she meets, on a daily basis.
Rev. Terri believed she was called to minister at a very young age, but struggled with a conflict between her spirituality
and her sexuality. She found herself in spiritual turmoil, believing she was truly called by God, but also believing the lies
told in the name of God, that you can't be "gay" and be a Christian, or even that God couldn't possibly love you if you were a
homosexual. The hopelessness in her life led to a downward spiral of alcohol and drug dependencies.
Her life was changed forever when a friend took her to visit River City MCC in Sacramento, CA. Here she realized that God's love is unconditional... that the same God who called her by name as a little girl was still calling her name. "It felt like the first hug from an old friend, when you've been away for a long time. I knew I had come home," said Rev. Terri of her newfound love and acceptance.
Free to be who God made her, Rev. Terri began to pursue the path that she had put on the shelf so long ago. In 1997 she met her life time love and partner, Marilyn Sweigart, and they entered into a Holy Union together on October 2, 1998.
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Assistant Pastor and CARE Group Ministry Leader - Sharon Henry
Sharon Henry studied at Bethany Bible College, pursuing a minister's license with the Assembly of God church. She was a youth pastor in an Assembly of God church in Sacramento, CA for several years before she came out as a lesbian woman. She has since obtained a Bachelorís Degree in Information Technology and a Masterís Degree of Business Administration.
She served as the Minister of Music for ten years and launched Valley Ministriesí small group ministry, CARE groups, in 2009. She accepted the position of Assistant Pastor at the beginning of 2012. She has a heart to see the church heal wounds, not create them. Knowing God's most powerful transforming work is done through the loving, caring and sharing of the body of Christ, she looks forward to working closely with the individuals that make up Valley Ministries to see the church and individual lives transformed.
Sharon also serves the Valley Bay Area Network as a co-leader and is enjoying the opportunity to get to know and minister to and through other churches in the area.
In the Sacramento area Sharon spends time as a life and fitness coach and works for a childrenís mental health non-profit organization as a Business Systems Analyst.
The three loves of her life are Sharonís two sons, Caleb and Clay, and her wife, Christine, whom she married in October of 2003. Christine also plays bass in Sound Alive, Valley Ministries' praise team and serves in the ministry of the church through teaching and administration with the opportunities arise.
Minister of Music - Vacant
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Pam Osborne retired from the Alameda County Library System and currently lives in Brentwood CA. Her partner and she have been together for 36 years and she is a proud mother and grandmother. Prior to coming to Brentwood she had previously been an active member of Centerville Presbyterian Church, a large church in Fremont CA. Pam found Valley Ministries on the internet and has been a member for 31/2 years. Although a much smaller church than the 1200 member church she left, she feels Valley Ministries does more good in our community than many churches much larger. she currently teaches Sunday School and is a member of Valley Ministriesí Mission Team.
As the Lay Delegate Pamís job is to be able to communicate issues and/or concerns to and from the congregation and the corporate denomination, United Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC), on all matters pertinent to the denomination. She does this through attendance at Regional Conferences, Network Meetings and General Conferences. Her goal is to always conduct the lay business of the church professionally, effectively and with God's guidance.
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Lisa Hanley found Valley Ministries on February 7, 2009, joined in membership a few months later, and was elected to the Board of Directors on January 30, 2011. She attained a Masterís Degree in Social Work, worked as a mental health clinician for probationary youth and their caregivers, and worked as a Child Protective Services Social Worker. She is currently working as a Licensed Pharmacy Technician and considers herself a lifetime student.
Lisa believes that ďOur lives here on Earth should be a life lived in service to others.Ē Her life exemplifies her dedication to the Church and her community. Lisa has always attended, or been associated with, a church, having been raised in a Lutheran Church for 30+years, and has accomplished her lifetime goal of infusing her love for God and her love for Godís children into her beautiful daughter. Lisa often says that she is very blessed and that her greatest achievement in life will always be her daughter; ďhaving the honor and courage to be a witness for another human being is truly a testament that God is alive and working in my life.Ē
Lisa is optimistic towards the future that with the blessings of Godís grace, it will bring great abundance to Valley Ministries. She considers Valley Ministries and itsí congregants her church family and her home away from home. God Bless!
I was born in El Dorado, Arkansas. My journey with Christ began at the local Church of God in Christ church in El Dorado. As a child I attended all services including Sunday School, Morning Worship, Evening Worship, Bible Study and Choir rehearsals. The Church believed in many ways to worship and praise God from shouting, dancing, running in the aisles, altar call and laying on of hands. My faith teaching was based upon hell, fire, and brimstone teachings. I moved from El Dorado, Arkansas to Paso Robles, California.
Upon moving to Stockton, California I joined Progressive Community Church and met my partner Morris Travis. After attending Progressive for about a year and a half we joined Valley Ministries MCC. Our relationship would not have been tolerated at Progressive if the Pastor, Deacon Board, or other church administrators were informed of our lifestyle. We feared we would be defrocked from the church. Our reason for joining Valley Ministries is that here, at Valley Ministries, we felt comfortable in worship service and were welcomed in with kind, loving arms. Also, we do not have to hide our love for each other as well as our identities (LGBTQ).
Ken was born and raised in Western Michigan and spent the first 31 years of his life living in the Grand Rapids area and the small farm towns surrounding it. He is one of three siblings in his family, and was raised in the Roman Catholic church. Even though he is straight he was deeply troubled by the church's stance toward the LGBT community, and that along with other issues he had with the church cuased him to eventually break away in the late 90's.
For the next several years he led a very spiritual life, though isolated from any kind of organized religion. Then in 2008 Ken made the move from Michigan to Northern California to be with his Partner Marnie, who he's been with now for three years. In that time the couple were invited to Valley Ministries by Marnie's mothers who attend the church. Ken was touched deeply in his soul by the love and warmth he felt upon entering the church. He has said that in Valley Ministries he found a profound connection with God and the love of Jesus that he'd never felt in any church before.
Soon after beginning to attend the church Ken volunteered to help out with Projection on the Praise Team, and to begin working on the church website. Soon that work spread into work on the email newsletter, the church YouTube channel, the church's Facebook page, and the church Twitter feed; turning what had started as a simple website into a full-fledged Web Ministry. Then in January 2012 Ken was elected to the church Board of Directors.
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- Board of Directors
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- CARE Groups