5 questions with Ken Ehrke
The Rev. Ken Ehrke is senior pastor at Agape Metropolitan Community Church, 4615 E. California Parkway (on the I-20 service road) in Fort Worth. He is one of several local ministers planning to participate in a protest outside Village Baptist Church in Carrollton on Saturday during an ex-gay conference being presented by Living Hope Ministries.
How did you first become associated with the Metropolitan Community Church?
I was ordained as a minister in the Presbyterian Church and was working as a hospital chaplain and part time as a minister at a Presbyterian church in Denver. I just got tired of playing the games and pretending to be what I wasn’t. I knew if I was to live with honesty and integrity, I had to be out in my ministry. I had been attending an MCC there, so I began the process of transferring my credentials to MCC.
How did you end up at Agape MCC in Fort Worth?
In 1990, I took a position as pastor of an MCC in Rockdale, Md. I was there for 10 years, and then my partner got a great job offer and in 2000, we moved to Fort Worth. I spent a year flying back and forth to Atlanta where I had a position as an interim minister, then in November 2001, I was called as pastor at Agape.
What sets Agape MCC apart from other LGBT churches in North Texas?
When I first came here, we redid our mission and vision statement. There are several churches in the area that serve the GLBT community, so we looked at where the holes were. What we saw was that no one was serving GLBT families, so we decided we wanted to become a comfortable, safe and exciting place for GLBT families with children. Now on any given Sunday, we’ll have 12 to 18 children under 5 in our nursery. Our Sunday School for all ages starts up again after Labor Day, and we have a teen group that meets twice a month.
What other community groups are you involved with?
I am on the board of the Tarrant County AIDS Interfaith Network. I founded the Progressive Clergy of Tarrant County, and I am working with some folks from TCU on GLBT geriatric issues.
What does your partner do?
My partner, Steve Grenzow, does marketing for the Chicago Tribune.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, August 25, 2006.