A place to belong. Isn't that what we all want, really? Somewhere we feel loved and wanted. A place where we can be real. A place where we can say what's really going on inside and not be turned away or ostracized simply by others' silence. A place where we're included and accepted, no matter what.
That's what Jesus did for people while he was here on this earth. And he's still doing it today through communities of faith that believe in being welcoming and affirming places for LGBTQ people.
CenterPeace is built on the concept of table fellowship, on the truth that Jesus invites each of us, no matter where we are in our thinking, to dine with him. For without Jesus at the center of our lives, there is no peace.
"Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God."
What We Offer
CenterPeace prioritizes spiritual community for LGBTQ people. We want to see all sexual and gender minorities thrive in their pursuit of Christ, knowing they are beloved by God. CenterPeace offers Tapestry, a spiritual formation retreat for LGBTQ people, Faithful Love, a retreat for couples, and the LGBTQ Discipleship Community, a private Facebook group that includes a monthly Zoom connection called Nurturing Faith. Other gatherings include Just Dinner, a monthly meal for LGBTQ folk and allies, as well as Stories and Tunes, a Dallas coffee shop gathering of LGBTQ testimony and worship (contact CenterPeace for details on these latter two). CenterPeace also collaborates with The Redwood Center for Spiritual Care and Education to implement a mentorship program, Bakos Project, which serves LGBTQ young adults in their 20s and 30s who demonstrate both a commitment to Christ and leadership qualities. Finally, Sally Gary, director of CenterPeace has provided pastoral care for hundreds of LGBTQ individuals over nearly twenty years since she started CenterPeace.
CenterPeace also serves parents through PeacePrint retreats, as well as trains church leaders through the Certificate in LGBTQ Ministry. Both of these initiatives have the goal of creating a place for LGBTQ people in the Church. The primary thing that drives sexual and gender minorities away from a faith community is lack of acceptance by family members and church leaders. CenterPeace recognizes that navigating faith and sexuality can be challenging. That's why CenterPeace creates spaces for parents and ministry leaders to ask honest questions and learn how to best support their LGBTQ loved ones. Sally Gary provides compassionate listening and consultation for those seeking to grow in understanding of faith and sexuality.
History of CenterPeace
Founded in 2006 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the work of CenterPeace is to cultivate spiritual community for LGBTQ people, providing a seat at Christ's table where all can find a place to belong. CenterPeace longs for the day when LGBTQ folk are fully affirmed and integrated into the life of the Church and within their families. CenterPeace grew out of Founder and Executive Director Sally Gary's own journey, growing up in a Christian family and experiencing attraction to the same-sex, but with no safe place to talk about those feelings. Church and university leaders met with Sally for nearly two years exploring what a ministry like this should offer, and the result was CenterPeace. Since then, hundreds of LGBTQ people, church and community leaders, and family members have reached out to CenterPeace for help. Following the lead of Jesus, who never turned anyone away, CenterPeace is helping Christians who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, or asexual to find a place to belong within the Body of Christ.
Sally Gary | Executive Director
Originally from Wichita Falls, TX, Sally now lives in Dallas with her wife Karen and their miniature dapple dachshund, Rudy. She is the author of two books: Loves God, Likes Girls (2013) and Affirming: A Memoir of Faith, Sexuality, and Staying in the Church (2021).
Sally holds bachelor's and master's degrees in communication from Abilene Christian University, as well as a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Texas Tech University School of Law. She has coached high school and college speech and debate, worked as a civil trial attorney, and spent ten years teaching communication at ACU. Sally is a teacher at heart. Most of all, Sally is dedicated to serving queer young adults, helping them to know they are loved and that they belong. Everywhere.
JennCullen Dettmann | Director of Development and Operations
Hailing from St. Louis, MO, but having lived in many other cities, she particularly loved her 12 years in Boston and living very close to the ocean. JennCullen is back in her hometown and currently enjoys making art and all things outdoors. She shares her home with her two handsome cats, a Russian Blue named Aimes and her youngest, Otis, who is jet black, very rambunctious and nicknamed, “Batman.”
She has 30 years experience in Marketing/Business Development, primarily in LGBTQ+ media, with an emphasis on TV, Radio and Magazines. She has also worked tirelessly fundraising for nonprofits in her spare time. She is thrilled to join the CenterPeace family and honored to help us continue to fulfill our mission in the future.