GO! Presents 100 Women We Love: Class of 2024

THE CULTURAL ROADMAP FOR CITY GIRLS EVERYWHERE

August 6, 2020

Nancy Petty

Photo by David Anderson.

While many in the LGBTQ+ community have felt isolated or rejected by organized religion, Reverend Dr. Nancy Petty of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church is certain that God’s love is unconditional. “I am passionate about the message to the LGBTQIA+ community that God loves us just as we are with no need to be any different,” she tells GO. “God created us and the world with great diversity, and we honor God most when we fully live into being the person God created us to be.” It’s a message of inclusion that Reverend Petty brings to her ministry at Pullen in North Carolina, where she has served since 1992 — the same year that Pullen was expelled from the Southern Baptist Convention for the acceptance of LGBTQ+ Christians. In addition to speaking out for gay rights and inclusion, Reverend Petty is also an advocate for interfaith dialogue with Raleigh’s Muslim Community and has been an active voice in North Carolina’s “Moral Mondays,” AKA progressive protests against the state’s increasingly conservative legislation. She received the Minister of the Year Award from the North Carolina NAACP in 2014 and was named one of nine ministers to watch by the Center for American Progress in September 2019. The foundations for her success, she tells GO, are due to the trust, honesty, and authenticity she brings to any relationship. “We are successful in life when we live our most authentic life,” she says. “Being an out pastor has opened up opportunities for me that I could have never dreamed of. As I have shared my story, I have met some of the most incredible and courageous people in the world. It has not always been easy, but every step of the journey has been a blessing — even the hard parts.” —RK

Click here to see all 100 amazing women from this year’s class of Women We Love!

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