5 questions with John Haack
Rev. Jon Haack (pronounced: hawk) founded the Promise Metropolitan Community Church in Oak Cliff nearly 10 years ago, which he still serves as senior pastor. The church, which will add a Sunday evening service on Jan. 7, Haack said, will celebrate “A Decade of Promise” in May 2007. Haack has lived here since 1992 and shares his home with Mollie, a 65-lb. black lab.
How and when did you feel called to pastoral work?
I first felt called to the pastoral ministry while doing my undergraduate work at Texas Lutheran College in Seguin. At that time, I was still in the closet and had not accepted my own sexuality. Had I done so, my path to professional ministry might have been a lot different! I earned a BA in Administrative Management and Theology [at the time].
Why did you choose the MCC churches for your ministry?
I joined MCC Austin while still in seminary, recognizing at first that I needed to meet some gay and lesbian people who shared my faith. At that time, I went to a “straight” church in the morning for worship and to MCC in the afternoon to meet new people. Soon, I began to go to the other church to network, and to MCC to worship! It became clear that I needed to be serving a church that welcomes all people.
What changes have you seen in your own congregation in the last 10 years?
Promise MCC has grown in spirit and in numbers over the years. Visitors have told us that they have felt the presence of God while pulling into the parking lot, so I guess that says a lot about how wonderfully the church has grown in spirit. Among other ministries, the church sponsors Oak Cliff Churches for Emergency Aid food pantry, provides spiritual programming to the Pride Institute in Arlington, and partners with the local elementary school to meet the needs of underprivileged children.
How should queer Christians respond to homophobic comments made by intolerant Christians?
Intolerant Christians need to grow, and come to understand that God’s love is for everyone, without condition and without reservation. That’s why they call it grace. If you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or questioning, God loves you. If you believe in Christ, then you are a Christian, period.
What other community activities are you involved in?
I am a [full time] chaplain for a nationwide hospice service. I am also proud to serve on the board of directors at Abounding Prosperity, Inc., an agency with a mission for HIV/AIDS education and prevention services for African American men and their families in Dallas County. I am also active in partisan politics as a precinct chair. All of these activities are hoped to improve the community in which we live. [Visit www.PromiseMCC.org for more information.]
Soundout is a weekly column featuring people whose jobs and interests have an impact on the daily lives of members of the GLBT community. It features those who often go unnoticed by the press and community. If you’d like to recommend someone to cover in this column, contact staff writer Beth Freed at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, January 5, 2007.