Michael Piazza is a spiritual visionary, author, and social justice advocate. Under 23 years of his courageous leadership as senior pastor and later dean, the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, Texas made religious history by reclaiming Christianity as a faith of extravagant grace, radical inclusion, and relentless compassion while becoming the world’s largest liberal Christian church with a predominantly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender outreach. A native of Georgia, Rev. Piazza has served churches in Texas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Florida, and, now, New York. He comes to Middle Collegiate Church to be executive minister after serving Virginia-Highland Church in Atlanta for six-and-a-half years, a congregation that is five times larger today than when he started. He holds bachelor’s degrees in history and psychology from Valdosta State University and a Master of Divinity from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta and is a doctoral candidate at Hartford Seminary, where he is an adjunct professor teaching church growth.
Once named by the “Advocate” magazine as one of the most influential people in the gay and lesbian movement, he also was honored by Pacific School of Religion with its “Leading Voice” award for his social justice work on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. His published books include Vital Vintage Church; Liberating Word, A Daily Reflection for Liberals, Volume One: The First Testament; Liberating the Gospel; Gay by God: How to be Lesbian or Gay and Christian (formerly Holy Homosexuals); Queeries: Questions Lesbians and Gays Have for God; The Real antiChrist: How America Sold its Soul; and Prophetic Renewal: Hope for the Liberal Church. He is the co-author of Liberating Hope: Daring to Renew the Mainline Church, which was released by Pilgrim Press, and currently is co-writing Fishing in a Shallow Sea with Dr. Scott Thumma, Academic Dean of Hartford Seminary. In his spare time, Rev. Piazza enjoys online prophetic advocacy and agitation and can be found on Twitter (@RevMikePiazza) and Facebook (Rev. Michael Piazza). He also writes a daily blog/devotion called “Liberating Word.”
Rev. Piazza and his late partner, Bill Eure, met in 1980 and were married for 35 years. Together, they raised two wonderful daughters.