Beyond Belief: LGBT Community Finds Faith, Love at Dallas Church

Cathedral of Hope in Dallas is called a vibrant, inclusive and progressive place of worship.

Congregants reach their hands to heaven with hearts on display. Some are heavy and most are filled with hope.

“This is an incredible place; a ‘Church Called Hope,’” Rev. Neil Cazares-Thomas said.

It’s a church where no one is turned away.

“It doesn’t matter who you are,” Brodie Devoll said. "We are all his children and we are all sharing his love."

“Historically it is known as a congregation where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender folks are able to worship openly and freely,” Cazares-Thomas said.

“This church is telling them it’s OK. Just be yourself. We love you anyway and that in itself is a miracle,” Devoll added.

In their hope, they pray that love will always prevail.

“It’s a life-saver. It’s one of the things I hear most often from folks who come into this church. Is that ‘Cathedral of Hope literally saved my life.’ That’s a miracle,” Cazares-Thomas said.

For 37 years, Cathedral of Hope has served as a safe haven for the LGBT community.

“It really has and continues to be a sanctuary,” Cazares-Thomas aid.

It started with 12 members, just like the 12 apostles who were the closest to Christ and has grown into a congregation of thousands.

“Well, I think God works in mysterious ways,” Cazares-Thomas smiled.

Devoll understands why the numbers have grown.

“Knowing that you have a place here to come when the outside world may not be showing you that [love] is incredible,” he said.

The church has faced hate head-on, prayed for healing and learned about a love that surpasses suffering.

“During the AIDS pandemic when close to 3,000 members of this particular congregation lost their lives to AIDS complications,” Cazares-Thomas said.

Through it all, they leaned on love.

“God is still speaking and God is still being revealed in new ways,” Cazares-Thomas added. “If your religion teaches you to hate anybody, then it is time for you to get another religion.”

Deep in the heart of Texas there is love.

“We believe that God is love and love is God,” Cazares-Thomas said.

And for Cathedral of Hope, love is what really matters.

“You know that you are coming home to your family,” Devoll added.

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