God Reports
7/7/17 at 03:32 PM 0 Comments

Former leader of church planting movement transitions to female

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Before and after transition

By Mark Ellis

Paul Williams, the former leader of a church planting organization known as the Orchard Group, has transitioned to female and is now known as Paula, according to the New York Times.

From his earliest memories, Paul was not comfortable with his gender identity. He followed his father’s footsteps into ministry, married a minister’s daughter, and fathered three children. Living in Long Island, New York, he enjoyed hiking and mountain biking, according to the Times.

But he kept his battle with gender "dysphoria" a closely guarded secret.

In late 2012, he couldn’t contain the secret any longer and confided in his son Jonathan – the leader of a church plant in Brooklyn funded by Orchard Group.

Paul told his son he wanted to live as a woman – transgender.

“I was relieved for a split second, not really knowing or understanding what it was,” Jonathan told the Times. “This was before Caitlyn Jenner or ‘Transparent.’

But then the potential impact began to sink in: “Oh, wait a second — wait a second. This is a way bigger deal. I would rather you be gay or be splitting up from mom,” he told his father.

After all, his father had been his male role model, mentor, counselor, and helped launch his church.

He felt a flurry of confusing emotions, including betrayal. “I didn’t want to know my dad’s new name for six, seven months after it happened.” Then he learned the new name is Paula, but still felt angry.

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