Men and women who once lived and identified as part of the LGBT community are confident that a “rainbow revival” is at hand.
Gathered under the blazing sun with temperatures in the mid-90s at the Sylvan Theater in the shadow of the Washington Monument, approximately 200 attended the Freedom March, an event for formerly LGBT-identifying people who share testimonies of how Jesus transformed their lives.
The gathering was first held in the same location in 2018. Last year’s Freedom March was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
With many sporting T-shirts decorated with rainbow flags and the words “Rainbow Revival,” march participants spoke with The Christian Post about the transforming power of Jesus.
Angel Colon, who miraculously survived after Omar Mateen shot him several times at the Pulse Nightclub mass shooting in Orlando in June 2016, said the “rainbow revival” is a sign of God’s covenant.
“We are taking back the rainbow,” Colon said. “It’s His. For us, it’s something beautiful.”
Colon and his compatriots are hearing from increasing numbers of people who desire to leave the LGBT life to follow Jesus, as Freedom March events have continued. He believes that the Covid-19 pandemic was a blessing in disguise because it forced many to go deep with the Lord.
“Especially now during Pride month, we want to say we love you” to the LGBT community, Colon said.
“We want to tell the gay community that we love them. We don’t want to judge you or condemn you and welcome you with open arms and be a reflection of Jesus. We’re not the Holy Spirit. We don’t want to do anything but love everyone.”
Freedom March co-founder Jeffrey McCall told CP that he noticed an uptick in emails he received from people wishing to leave the LGBT life and identity behind last summer.
That uptick in correspondence “has never stopped since last summer,” McCall said.
“We are getting more emails, more people reaching out and wanting help than we’ve ever had in the past three years,” he continued. He believes that the Church is at the beginning stage of reaching out effectively to LGBT individuals with the transformational power of life in Christ.
“In 20 years of ministry to the LGBT community, I know there are many people that they were Christians, that they loved Jesus in their childhood, but they just felt disqualified from His love and grace and redemption because of what they experienced,” he told CP.
“And I’m here to say — and I know that we all are — that the blood of Jesus speaks a better word.”
Kim Zember, who is Catholic and on the march’s board of directors, shared with CP that the phrase “conversion therapy” is misleading.
“It’s not about ‘converting’ someone,” Zember said. “When Jesus walked the earth, he didn’t walk around converting people. He invited people to be transformed. And we’re transformed in a relationship with Jesus Christ.”
“Jesus went into the dark places,” She stressed. “He encountered those who were sick, those who were blind and broken.”
The Freedom March board member said that those who participated in the event believe they have been “touched by who we believe is the Physician, Jesus Christ.”
“He transforms our lives, not forcing us, not changing us because we have to,” Zember explained. “[It’s] not a doctrine or certain church teaching, but because Christ Himself has encountered each one of us and we want to share that, not only the transformation He has brought to our lives but [it’s] continuing as well.”
In order for churches to posture themselves effectively to reach the LGBT community, she said the Church needs an increase in humility and realize “we ourselves are broken as well and allow Jesus to mend our own brokenness.” She says churches must be “willing to be transparent with others struggling about our own battles and share about Jesus who is our only hope for complete healing.”