North Texas

New North Texas Congregation Has Church to Call Home for Easter and Beyond

The thing that brought the newly formed Gracia Viva church and the established Oak Lawn United Methodist Church in Dallas together under one roof, is an issue that is dividing the United Methodist Church worldwide. 

"LGBT is not against Christianity," said Pastor Isabela Marquez of Gracia Viva Church. "And Christianity is not against the people LGBT."

The United Methodist Church voted in February to strengthen its ban on same sex clergy and marriage. Both Oak Lawn United Methodist and Gracia Viva are inclusive churches, so the English-speaking Oak Lawn United Methodist reached out to offer a physical church home to the Spanish-speaking Gracia Viva, which did not have a place to worship.

"This is not an English church or Spanish church. It is not an LGBT or heterosexual church," said Marquez during a Wednesday noon service. "It is a church."

"We love the fact that these pews every Sunday morning are filled with a great diversity of people," explained Oak Lawn United Methodist Exec. Minister Heather Gottes.

"Too many people... think they have a monopoly on who God is," said Rev Gregg Smith of Oak Lawn Methodist. "They think that they have an active option in excluding people from God's all-encompassing love."

This Easter holiday, both churches will celebrate the season together.

"God welcomes and loves all of God's children," said Smith. "That's who we are."

Contact Us