Brent Childers brings a unique and powerful voice to Faith In America’s mission to end the harm caused by a social climate of rejection, condemnation and violence toward against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans that is so often justified with bigotry disguised as religious truth.
He is burdened by the fact that he knows of at least four families that have been destroyed by the murder of children that has been linked directly or indirectly to their sexual orientation.
He also is saddened to know that there is a young gay or lesbian person someone in America right now contemplating ending their life because of the immense and unwarranted burden placed upon them by a small but vocal group of religious/political groups and organizations that disseminate condemning and hateful sentiment under a banner of moral authority.
Childers for most of his adult life was someone who aligned himself with those groups and their message of condemnation and rejection.
But there came a time several years ago when he was challenged to consider whether his attitude toward gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals really squared with what he considers the foundational tenants of his faith. He concluded he had sorely missed the mark.
In 2005 while serving as vice president of a marketing and publishing firm in Hickory, N.C., Childers was introduced to Mitchell Gold, a longtime advocate of equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans who operates a furniture manufacturing company in western North Carolina.
Childers was offered the opportunity to serve as creative director for a media campaign that Gold formulated as part of his efforts to found an organization that would seek to educate Americans about the history of religion-based bigotry and discrimination and how it is still at work today in the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans.
Following two years working with the organization and its initial educational media campaigns, Childers joined Faith In America in May 2007 as director of strategy and communications director. In July 2007, Childers worked with one of the organization’s supporters in proposing a question about religion-based bigotry that was selected to be asked in the first CNN/YouTube debate in July 2007 in Charleston, S.C. In addition, he helped organize the organization’s Call To Courage campaigns in Ames, Iowa, and Greenville, S.C. and the organization’s Freedom To Marry campaign in Washington, D.C. last June as well as several media campaigns in 2006 in Indianapolis, Indiana and Colorado Springs, Colorado.
He was named executive director of the organization in December 2007.
Childers enjoyed an 18-year career in newspaper journalism during which he received several investigative journalism awards for environmental and other reporting. From 2004 to 2007, he served as vice president of Inform Inc. in Hickory, N.C., where he served as editor of a national textile and hosiery publication and where he also founded the first regional pet news magazine in North Carolina in 2005.
Childers resides in the western North Carolina community of Cajah Mountain with his wife Roxanne. He has four children and four pets.