The National LGBTQ Task Force is pleased to announce the appointment of Naomi Christine Leapheart, MDiv as the organization’s Faith Work Director.
“I’m delighted to join the National LGBTQ Task Force as the Faith Work Director. What a joy it is to be able to go to work every day and use my experience and energy to challenge and disrupt the ways that faith has been turned into a weapon that devastates the lives of LGBTQ people! I’m so grateful to be able to heed this call surrounded by incredible colleagues at the Task Force, and I’m looking forward to working with LGBTQ people and our comrades to pave the road to our collective freedom,” says Naomi.
Most recently, Naomi was the suburban community organizer for POWER, a multi-faith, multi-racial network of congregations working to shift power, change public policy, and do justice for the most vulnerable in the Philadelphia Metro Area. As an anti-oppression consultant, Naomi delights in facilitating difficult and transformative conversations about race, gender, sexuality, and faith. She is a member of the Philly Threshold Choir, a community whose mission is to sing for and with those at the thresholds between life and death.
Before joining POWER, Naomi served as Co-Pastor and Minister of Music at the Wisdom’s Table at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ. She is proudly affiliated with the United Church of Christ and The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries, an ecumenical group of predominantly African-American Christian leaders and laity invested in a theology of radical inclusivity. Her work is included in the volume, “From Generation to Generation: A Commemorative Collection of African American Millennial Sermons from the Festival of Preachers 2010-2015,” a compilation of what the nation’s most promising young African-American ministers are thinking and proclaiming about the Christian faith (Chalice Press, 2015).
A daughter of Detroit, Naomi earned the Master of Divinity degree from Lancaster Theological Seminary in 2016. At Lancaster, Naomi was a Presidential Scholar and received awards for preaching and worship. She was also honored to receive the United Church of Christ’s Joseph H. Evans Scholarship for her justice advocacy and proven leadership abilities in the church and world. Naomi shares her life with her partner in love and ministry, Kentina Washington, who is a chaplain and religious educator. Together, they are raising a curious, energetic, future Oscar-winning tween, Sophia.
“As a minister, educator, organizer, and organizational consultant, Naomi brings a unique blend of leadership, innovation and action to the Task Force family. We look forward to her contribution to our work to advance freedom, justice and equality for all LGBTQ people,” said Rev. Rodney McKenzie, Director of the Academy for Leadership and Action.