Gilbert Gonzalez Jr
An accomplished Singer, Actor, Writer, and Social Justice Advocate for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing, Gilbert Gonzalez Jr was raised Roman Catholic in the San Francisco Bay Area, but became a born-again Christian at the age of 26.
At 27, Gilbert fell deeply in love with the Word of God and soon after began teaching a rapidly-growing home Bible Study out of his Union City apartment to friends, family, and neighbors. At 29 Gilbert relocated to Los Angeles and has become one of the most dynamic, sought-after preachers, mentors, and Bible Study teachers of his generation.
Gilbert has been an effective bridge-builder during this culture war between the LGBT community and the Christian Church. He has strong relationships with influential leaders (both affirming and non-affirming) and even sings, signs, teaches, and preaches for them on occasion as their featured special guest. Through relationship, Gilbert has witnessed many non-affirming believers become affirming simply by getting to know Gilbert and watching his Jesus-centered life.
Gilbert attends The Los Angeles Dream Center at Angelus Temple, where he has served for many years as their official Sign Language Interpreter.
Gilbert's life mottos are:
"It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice."
"Relationship is the most important thing in this life. Relationship is our vehicle to God, to others, and even to ourself. Nothing is more important than relationship. Nothing. Honor your relationships, and you will always do well."
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
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.
Matt Lonn is a 7 year veteran of PHOENIX MINISTRY. He started as a regular Bible Study attendee at the early launch of our Southern California campus. Matt has shown an unwavering devotion 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.
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)