BISHOP YVETTE A. FLUNDER
Yvette A. Flunder (born July 29, 1955) is an American womanist, preacher, pastor, activist, and singer from San Francisco, CA. She is the senior pastor of the City of Refuge United Church of Christ in Oakland, California and Presiding Bishop of The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries
Flunder was born in San Francisco, California and raised between the Bay Area and Mississippi. She grew up in the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), graduating from the High School from COGIC's Saints Academy in Lexington, Mississippi before returning to California. In 1984, she began singing and recording with Walter Hawkins and the Love Center Choir, where she was the lead singer. She was later ordained by Hawkins.
Flunder earned an undergraduate degree from College of San Mateo. She then went on to receive a Certificate of Ministry Studies and a Master of Arts in 1997 from the Pacific School of Religion, before earning her Doctor of Ministry degree from the San Francisco Theological Seminary in 2001.
In 2000, she founded the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries, a trans-denominational coalition of Christian churches who "desire to celebrate and proclaim the radically inclusive love of Jesus Christ", and was appointed its Presiding Bishop in 2003.
Flunder identifies as a womanist and a reconciling liberation theologian. In 2005, she authored a book, Where the Edge Gathers: Building a Community of Radical Inclusion. Carlton Pearson cites her among the first religious leaders to embrace and encourage him after he was declared a heretic due to coming out in support of universal reconciliation.
In 2013, she was named as a Distinguished Alumna of the Pacific School of Religion. On December 1, 2014, Flunder was a keynote speaker in the White House for World AIDS Day, where she described the harmful effects of stigma and homophobia on those living with HIV and on AIDS education in general. The following year she was a guest speaker at the American Baptist College's Garnett-Nabrit Lecture Series.