Gilbert Gonzalez Jr
Gilbert Gonzalez Jr is the Founder and President of PHOENIX MINISTRY; a bridge building Christian organization serving both Southern California and the San Francisco Bay Area since 2013.
Since 2008, Gilbert has worked diligently to construct safe spaces where LGBT Christians (and their allies) could build community: via bible studies, movie and game nights, fellowship outings, and social events. Members were able to experience the church culture they were used to outside of frequently unsafe Church walls. This was unfounded at the time (especially for millennials) near and around San Francisco and Los Angeles when PHOENIX originally launched. Gilbert has been viewed as a pioneer for this movement as he has created a template that is now used by many other affirming ministries in Los Angeles today.
Gilbert also works in the entertainment industry and therefore heads the video production aspect of PHOENIX creating short films, documentaries, music videos, and featurettes. He is also a songwriter, screenwriter, actor, film producer, director, and has worked freelance as a certified Sign Language interpreter and advocate of the Deaf and Hard-Of-Hearing for over 20 years.
Gilbert has been featured and/or performed on sets, film, events, and television shows such as American Idol, America’s Got Talent, The Kelly Clarkson Show, Kashi Cereal, The Bad Girls Club, Making It LA and many more...
Gilbert is delighted about making new connections and partnering with others that share the same vision for inclusion. Gilbert earnestly awaits the revival he believes is coming and already feels he has seen the beginnings of. Most importantly, Gilbert wholeheartedly believes that the very best is yet to come.
GET TO KNOW OUR LEADERS...
At PHOENIX, we have become so much more than a ministry. We have become a family.
Therefore, we take leadership very seriously. Since the foundation of the ministry,
our leadership team strives to not only perform the duties required of them,
but also exemplify Biblical principles in their everyday lives and relationships.
To be a leader, we believe one must
constantly press on to develop every fruit of the Spirit the Scriptures describe in Galatians 5:22-23.
The fruit of the Spirit [evidence of God's presence in someone] is love [unselfish concern for others],
joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting],
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness [humility], and self-control."
We believe in establishing a strong model lifestyle of love and service; one that everyone can follow. (1 Corinthians 11:1)
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Matt Lonn has been a veteran of PHOENIX MINISTRY since 2012. He started as a regular Bible Study attendee at the early launch of our Southern California campus and just continued his passionate devotion to the ministry's vision. Matt has shown an unwavering loyalty to God and our ministry members and he currently organizes and oversees all of our social events in the Southern California areas as well as manages our finances. Matt brings years of expertise to PHOENIX MINISTRY in the areas of business, event coordinating, outreach, and even social gatherings with the entertainment industry. Matt's devotion to Jesus is evident in everything he does and he's over-joyed to be given the chance to serve you in our ministry. When Matt's involved, every project is a success one.
THE LEADERSHIP TEAM
Izek is a passionate follower of Jesus Christ and advocate
of social justice. Izek spends much of his time raising awareness and speaking out on issues facing the LGBT+ communities. He is a passionate advocate for the inclusion and equal treatment of the Transgender Community and travels to various schools in Northern California to speak about it. Izek works in education as a Physical Education Specialist and loyally serves PHOENIX MINISTRY as a dedicated facilitator of our Biblical teachings. Izek leads the Northern California campus and leads the entire NorCal division of PHOENIX MINISTRY. He is dedicated to working hard until he sees the full welcoming, celebration, and inclusion of all God's people in the Church.
Kathy Baldock, author, LGBT advocate, international speaker and educator, and Executive Director of CanyonWalker Connections, is a leading expert on LGBT issues in the United States, especially dealing with historical and current discrimination faced from the socially conservative Christian church and political sector.
Kathy has been an associate, advocate, and advisor of PHOENIX MINISTRY since it's inception years ago. Kathy maintains a strong personal friendship with President Gilbert Gonzalez Jr and works hard to accomplish a parallel mission statement alongside PHOENIX MINISTRY with her own non-profit organization: CanyonWalker Connections. Some of her recent work for CanyonWalker Connections include her 2014 book, Walking the Bridgeless Canyon: Repairing the Breach Between the Church and the LGBT Community, and it's accompanying "Untangling the Mess" (presentation, blog, podcast, and video.) They piece together the history behind LGBT persecution in the church and strongly urge conservative Christians and church leaders to become better educated in order to properly engage members of the LGBT community. Baldock’s heavily researched, accessible, informational approach helps people understand the LGBT community’s modern plight in terms of how threads of culture, medicine, psychoanalysis, law, science, religion, and politics have contributed to our understanding of this group of people.
(Please check out this video below)