First Gay Pastor Installed at the First Baptist Church of Madison, WI

On Sunday, September 19, the First Baptist Church of Madison, Wisconsin, announced the welcoming of its first openly gay pastor. Rev. Tim Schaefer expressed great joy during his installation service, calling it an “incredibly moving and incredibly meaningful” service.

Rev. Schaefer served at the First Baptist Church in Madison for ten months before his formal introduction. Describing last Sunday’s service, the new pastor said the most significant part of his installation was the “covenant between myself and the congregation that we will support each other.”

The First Baptist Church traces its origin to the first meeting organized by the Baptist Society of Wisconsin on December 23, 1847. Their website also stated other progressive stances taken by the church as a whole. From supporting the civil rights movement to accepting Japanese churchgoers during WW2, the church describes itself as a welcoming and affirming church.

Present during his installation service was Rev. Tim Schaefer’s father, Rev. Frank Schaefer, who gave a sermon for the service. Rev. Frank Schaefer was recently deposed from the United Methodist Church for performing same-sex marriages, including marrying his son.

Rev. Tim Schaefer said that “having a couple of generations of pastors is a pretty special thing.” He added that it was more meaningful for him to have his “father being the person to give the message to preach” during the service.

Before joining Madison’s First Baptist Church, Rev. Tim Schaefer was a youth minister at the Royal Lane Baptist Church in Dallas, TX. He also earned his master’s degree in Divinity at the Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, TX.

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