Paul Alexander

December 13, 2018

Controversial Former Pentecostal Minister Embraces Transgender Identity

A former Assemblies of God minister has announced his transition to a female identity.

Paul Alexander previously served as president of the Society for Pentecostal Studies (SPS), an academic group which studies Pentecostal and Charismatic expressions of the Christian faith. Alexander controversially guided SPS in a more progressive direction. In 2013 he urged that the Pentecostal tradition should be open to the promotion of homosexual, transgender and intersex “realities” as faithful representations of Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity. Alexander stated that Jesus was “healed” from wrong views during his earthly ministry.

Later in 2013, Alexander was dismissed from the clergy rolls of the Assemblies of God, the denominational equivalent of defrocking. He continued as co-president of Evangelicals for Social Action and on staff at Eastern Seminary until 2016, when he departed both organizations. Alexander and the mother of his three children divorced.

In 2018 Alexander began a staff role at Middle Collegiate Church in New York City as Executive Strategist for Movement Building and Partnerships. Middle Collegiate Church is a politically engaged congregation that describes itself as progressive and inclusive.

Both the MCC web site and Alexander’s LinkedIn profile now list Alexander’s name as April, and Alexander announced the gender identity transition on his Facebook page:

Alexander described his upbringing in a devout Assemblies of God family in Kansas, and stated in 2007 in Mennonite World Review that in the early 1990s he listened to conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh as he studied ethics and theology with an eye towards future ministry.

According to Mennonite World Review, in his mid-20s, Alexander said he lost his faith for a time, but rediscovered it by returning to some of the sources of early Pentecostalism and by taking a class from neo-Anabaptist theologian John Howard Yoder. He also started reading Anabaptist theology and taking note of early Pentecostals persecuted for their pacifist beliefs.

Alexander was largely formed in conservative, Evangelical institutions, receiving a master of divinity degree from the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, Missouri, and a doctorate from Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

The new professor went on to teach theology and ethics at Southwestern Assemblies of God University from 1998-2006, and Azusa Pacific University from 2006-2010.

Alexander founded the group Pentecostals and Charismatics for Peace and Justice in 2001, and in August 2016 Love for All, a research, education, and media company “dedicated to expanding wisdom, compassion, and justice.”

23 Responses to Controversial Former Pentecostal Minister Embraces Transgender Identity

  1. David says:

    Married men who are attracted to other men are quite common and might represent half of the “gay” population according to some. The pressure to conform to society’s expectations of marriage does not permit remaining single in some parts of the world. However, a person’s true nature can surface even after a period of years. I suppose becoming a “female” would make matters heterosexual at least in this person’s mind. I would rather see persons in this situation remain single rather than involve a wife and children. Do we really need more articles on aberrant clergy members?

    • Steve says:

      Can’t disagree with anything you’ve said except the last sentence. The article’s newsworthy. Its about a high profile religious leader with a history who recently went transgender and changed her name from Alex to April. Accordingly, the world needs to refer to her by her preferred name and pronouns, and add a new chapter to her story. Most mainline churches at this point would disagree with your characterization of her behavior as being “aberrant”; they would be welcoming and affirming and regard this as being in the realm of normal behavior. To the extent people don’t agree (you apparently don’t), there’s a discussion society should have. Alternatively, we could just ignore it and pretend it isn’t happening.

      • JJ says:

        This is a man, not a woman. A man who has mutilated himself, taken hormones, and pretends to be a female. He can’t change biology, and has abandoned his family for a mental illness he refuses to get treatment for. I knew him personally, and seeing this is very disheartening. It will never be okay, and will be judged in the light of eternity.

        • How can you judge us! For what the bible tells us, that god created man and female, that claim is sexual identity, yes that is true, no doubt but, gender is not meantion , in the spirituals. The spirituals tells us that God can change our minds! Yes, our minds, to accept Jesus Christ spiritual from all sins, the body is nothing, the mind is .

  2. carrie says:

    “Praise God!”, that the AG sent him packing. They kicked out the unrepentant Jimmy Swaggart years ago, too. This is real ministry work that needs to be done in more denominations! In Corinth, the early church dealt with pagan and sinful behavior regularly. On such an occasion, Paul instructed that one man be disciplined as follows, “…Hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord” (1Cor. 5: 5). Church discipline is to be remedial- for the purpose of saving the eternal soul- which is of much more value than anything that perishes. It is also necessary to protect other believers from evil influences. We need to be praying for the torn apart family members who bear the deepest pain of this betrayal and apostasy. No matter how seemingly Christian and Bible filled our homes are, it is the heart that strays. “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 6: 11, 12).

  3. Rob says:

    Seems that Paul/April or whatever he wants to be called has also walked away from Christianity altogether.

    I was acquainted with him a number of years ago through the Society for Christian Ethics. He struck me then as a very generous, loving, Jesus-centered man. I wonder what happened.

  4. John Humphries says:

    This saddens my spirit. He was a great professor and was adored by many. Praying for him and his family.

  5. Lameck Mahachi says:

    God created a man and a woman and decreed that it shall remain thus and that some of their offspring shall be men while others shall be women for the sole purpose of procreation. We cannot and should never change what the hand of God has created especially when we purport to be bearers of His word like this so-called priest who has transgendered to become what he was originally created to be. That’s blasphemy and it should never be permitted in realms of Christianity.

  6. Roy says:

    There has always been Christian leaders and congregants who proved themselves to be ‘wandering stars’, not knowing the truth. A Christian can still fall into sin, but one who is born again will climb back up by the Grace of God, and be washed anew in the Word.
    We should never set those with sinful behavior as persons to follow. We can help them on their road to repentance. That would assume they are willing to repent.

  7. Carolyn says:

    Well said Carrie!

  8. Sharon says:

    I am sick of this. There are TWO genders. Anything else is emotional delusion and mental sickness. We are all sinners, I truly am an alcoholic but never have been an alcoholic. But every time I go past liquor I want a drink. I definitely do not want to become one, so I put my body into subjection under the authority of Christ Jesus and scripture because I believe scripture and believe what it says that all drunkards will not enter heaven. Neither will homosexuals or effeminate. Read Romans 1:18-32

  9. JJ says:

    I had a class with this reprobate when I attended SAGU. He was an extremist pacifist, and constantly tried to stir up strife amongst faculty and students. More than once we had very public discussions about his behavior, beliefs, and views. He refused to stand for the Star Spangled Banner, had open animus towards veterans and military. Embraced liberal and progressive views at a very conservative University. I had heard rumors through the years he had delved further into degenerate behavior. He is a very intelligent MAN, and good at developing followers though charm and “wit”. That he now has chosen to leave his wife and children, to mutilate his body, and pretend to be a woman is not a huge surprise. He is leading people down the path of darkness, and into extreme perversion. One day he will give an account for his actions, and all he led astray. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. This is a living example of progressing to a complete reprobate. I feel for his wife and poor children that have to live through this horror. Not angry at him, I feel nothing but sorrow for his state, and the catastrophic carnage left in his self centered wake.

    • Carissa Niemyer says:

      I too attended classes at SAGU with Dr. Alexander. No where in my entire 4 years there did I encounter another person so dedicated to following the teachings of Jesus. Jesus did say love your enemy. Everyone else, professors and students alike, excused that statement and their responsibility from it by assuming he must not mean enemies of the United States. NO ONE would put down their national allegiance for 2 seconds to question what Jesus might actually do.
      If that rubbed you the wrong way, perhaps your offense to not standing for a nationalistic ritual, should be a flag for you to reevaluate your own priorities.
      The ugliness in which you talk Dr. Alexander has an “I knew it all along” feel to it, and I’m guessing your not still in touch with April, or any of her family.
      I’ve been present with all of this with both Dr. Alexander and his ex wife, and your assumptions and accusations are ugly and largely unfounded, and in the end mean and gossipy, and ultimately Anit-Christ.

  10. Bob Cornell says:

    “Carrie”, you put a transgender man in the same category as Jimmy Swaggart and praise the AG for treating both the same? That mindset is what is hurting the AG.

    • carrie says:

      Huh? They both transgressed the written standards of the Assemblies of God. These standards are based on Scripture. When licensed for ministry, both were aware of the expectations of their church body. Was someone supposed to get special treatment?

  11. Rob says:

    I knew Paul Alexander as an acquaintance through the Society of Christian Ethics a few years ago. He struck me then as an extremely generous, compassionate, and Jesus-centered person. Now sadly, it seems he’s walked away from the Christian faith entirely. I wonder what happened- it grieves me greatly. See this Facebook post-

  12. Nick Stuart says:

    Does anyone else think that photo of Alexander at upper right looks like Weird Al Yankovic?

  13. Kimberly Ervin Alexander says:

    As a past-president of SPS, I must take exception to your claim: “Alexander controversially guided SPS in a more progressive direction.” Every elected officer of the society since his administration, have been ministers and scholars in good-standing with their denominations (AG, COG, Church of England). There is no evidence whatsoever for your claim.

  14. Lisa says:

    Sounds like most of you that replied have never walked in another man’s shoes, this man did not start out with this plan to deceive or cause offence or hurt anyone, it was the hand he was dealt at birth, not fair, but life goes on, if God doesn’t change you we sure will try to do it ourselves, I pray God help me to except the things that I cannot change and change the things I can, Adam and Eve were created, Male and female, also they were of the same racial background, yet their are many different races of people. That’s all we read about in the Garden, I did not see the whale there either but it was named. The world is bigger than we think. Pray for this person, and let him or her without sin cast the first stone.

  15. Doc says:

    What a great person, loving kind compassionate friendly and sincere, all of the things lacking in today’s religious environments.
    I support them love them and want them to strive and be successful while helping others with the godly love they have.
    It’s amazing how religious people who claim. God’s compassion can, change when someone is not as they think they should be.
    I say good riddance to them

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