Rev. Dawn J. Flynn is the pastor of New Life MCC in Gastonia, North Carolina. Ordained within the Metropolitan Community Church, Pastor Flynn is a happily married trans activist. She is the author of God Does Love me: My Trans Journey to Finding My True Self, available through Amazon.
Rev. Debra Hopkins is a proud Trans Woman of Color and a non-denominational minister. She has been actively involved in ministry through pastoral care, writing, and activism for more than four decades. Debra spends most of her time advocating around the country for the under-served people of our LGBTQIA communities. She remains passionate about communicating the Truths of God’s Word in a creative and highly relevant way. Rev. Hopkins continues to actively promote the power of the human spirit and the ability each of us has to define and manage our lives in a positive, productive manner. She is very proud of her three adult children and eight beautiful grandchildren. Debra is also the author of three books and considers herself a “Voice for Change.”
Minister Cassandra Jones
is a proud Elder, a colored woman!, a widow, a parent of five adult children, a grandmother, a great grandmother, a woman of transgender experience, and an advocate within the LGBTQIA and non-binary community. Minister Jones holds college degrees in Management Information Systems and Clinical Psychology. She has 18+ years of experience in healthcare as a prevention specialist, case manager, counselor, lay responder, health instruction trainer, and as a master trainer. Her husband and soulmate, a wonderful man who loved and respected her for 21 years, passed in 2016. Minister Jones serves the board of Transcend Charlotte
, and is a proud founding member of the Unity Fellowship Church
movement under Archbishop Carl Bean, where they believe that “God is love and love is for everyone!”
is an author, artist, and musician whose work is rooted in nature and the sacred traditions of pre-Christian Northern Europe and Eurasia. Her unique and challenging life has led her to combine her creative gifts through her service as a Northern Tradition Shaman
. As a specialist shaman, healer, and ritualist, Susannah focuses on rewilding and reciprocity with the natural world and the spirits present in everything surrounding us. In addition to training her apprentices and teaching workshops, she serves as an Elder and ally to the Northern Shamanism Guild. A Freyjaswoman, Susannah resides on sacred land in the Saura Hills of northwestern North Carolina with her husband, a blacksmith, and their six cats.
Pastor Mykal Shannon is a retired law enforcement sergeant who now resides in Asheboro, NC. He has been an activist and voice for marginalized communities and social injustices in the south for more than 20 years. Pastor Shannon started his own church, Dynamic Faith Ministries, that focuses on providing a safe space for those who have felt ostracized by other religious entities. He has served many boards and has been part of a host of events that create awareness of current issues facing the transgender community. Mykal also teaches and provides pastoral care both personally and in the corporate arena, with regard to cultural competency and the creation of inclusive environments in schools and places of business.
Liam M. Hooper, MDiv.
Liam is an author, gender theorist, theological activist, educator, public speaker, and podcaster. He has previous experience as a mental health counselor, clinical director and program developer. Liam regularly appears as a workshop presenter and on panels at national conferences, and collaborates with several other local, regional and national organizations.
Liam received a bachelors degree in Psychology from Winston Salem State and his MDiv from Wake Forest School of Divinity. Liam lives in North Carolina with his wife and their dog, Dodi. When he can, he enjoys creative down-time in his wood shop, tending the iris beds, learning to play his guitar and mandolin, and spending time with his spouse. You can find out more about Liam by visiting his professional website.