Matthew Vines, Executive Director
Matthew Vines is the founder and Executive Director of The Reformation Project. He is also the author of God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships, published by Convergent Books in 2014.
In 2012, Matthew delivered a speech at a church in his hometown of Wichita, Kansas, making the case that Christians should affirm gay Christians and their marriage relationships. His speech went viral, having been seen more than a million times and leading to a feature story in The New York Times. In 2013, Matthew launched The Reformation Project to equip and empower Christians to advocate for LGBTQ inclusion in their faith communities.
He speaks regularly at churches, universities, and conferences across the country. God and the Gay Christian has generated significant media attention, with US News & World Report calling it “profoundly important” and veteran religion reporter David Crumm writing that it “is going to be a classic.”
AnaYelsi Sanchez, Programs Director
AnaYelsi Velasco-Sanchez is an Indo-Latinx interlocking mujerista, which is just a fancy way of saying she's a Christian feminist trying to survive life in the Latin diaspora. She has been working as a faith-based community organizer for nearly a decade now. Her experience both in inter-faith and multi-issue organizing has provided her a unique understanding of the complex work involved in bridge-building and unifying diverse people around a shared purpose. In addition to being TRP's Organizing and Programs Director, she oversees their Academy for Racial Justice and is also an educator with the Racial Justice Institute, an initiative of Evangelicals For Social Action.
An artist and writer, her paintings have been featured in shows in Orlando and D.C. and she has written for outlets such as Believe Out Loud and the CCDA Theological Journal. She has been featured as a speaker and panelist for organizations such as The Gay Christian Network, Human Rights Campaign, Wild Goose Festival, The Krista Foundation and more.
She enjoys teaching others to cook, reading everything she can get her hands on, and watching an absurd amount of problematic made-for-tv holiday romcoms."
Amelia Markham, Atlanta Organizer
Amelia Markham grew up in Destin, Florida, and is a graduate of Columbia International University in Columbia, S.C., where she earned her B.S. in intercultural studies and Bible. Although coming out prevented her from launching right into local church ministry, Amelia went on to work in international relief and LGBTQ advocacy as the director of outreach for the non-profit Planting Peace in Topeka, Kansas. There, she facilitated operations and programming for their most prominent project, the Equality House, which is better known as the little rainbow house directly across the street from America’s most notorious hate group, The Westboro Baptist Church. Amelia now resides in Atlanta, Georgia, where she spends most of her time building a grassroots network of LGBTQ Christians and allies while attempting to navigate what it means to be an LGBTQ person of faith with mixed-Asian American/Native Hawai'ian ancestry and a "for better or for worse" kind of love for the Southeast.
Sara Renn, Operations Director
Sara comes to The Reformation Project as a straight ally in the fight for LGBTQ rights. She grew up in Louisville, KY, and brings with her years of experience in anti-oppression work, community organizing, and direct service with immigrant and refugee populations. She began serving her community as an HIV/AIDS organizer with the Student Global AIDS Campaign, where she organized multi-ethnic and inter-faith coalitions. Sara continued to work in solidarity with international organizations in Haiti, Thailand, South Africa, and Taiwan. Sara has specialized in research, data management, and operational sustainability, both as an AmeriCorps VISTA and a Data Specialist for Kentucky’s refugee resettlement community. Most recently, she served as the Midwest Organizing Director with the Young Invincibles. She enjoys the outdoors, the Chicago theatre scene, coaching youth sports, and eating with cousins.
Lauren Gray, Development Director
Lauren grew up in a conservative church in Florida where her gay friends were taught that same-sex relationships were sinful, and The Reformation Project was instrumental in making her a more outspoken advocate for LGBT equality in the church. After receiving her Ph.D. from Florida State University where her research focused on gender and sexuality in the development of evangelicalism, she taught college courses in American religion and gender studies, and most recently worked with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship on their $12 million endowment campaign. She is passionate about connecting donors to worthy causes, especially ones that advance equality. Lauren lives with her husband, who is a pastor, and young son in Atlanta, Georgia. She enjoys reading memoirs, eating at new restaurants, water skiing, snow skiing, traveling to new places, and visiting her nieces in Florida.
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