Michael S. Piazza

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Michael S. Piazza is a spiritual visionary, author, and social justice advocate who currently serves as senior pastor of Virginia-Highland Church in Atlanta, Georgia, a congregation dually affiliated with the Alliance of Baptists and the United Church of Christ. He also is the co-executive director of the Center for Progressive Renewal, a non-profit, Atlanta-based church development organization that primarily services UCC congregations, as well as President of Hope for Peace and Justice, a non-profit organization aimed at progressive-leaning people of various religious faiths.

Piazza is best known as the former senior pastor and dean of the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, Texas,[1][2][3] which, under his leadership, grew from approximately 350 members to more than 3,500.

A native of the U.S. state of Georgia, Piazza has served in ministry for more than three decades as pastor of churches in Georgia, Texas, Oklahoma, and Florida. He holds a bachelor's degree in History from Valdosta State University in Georgia and a Master of Divinity from the Candler School of Theology, Emory University, in Atlanta.

In August 1999, The Advocate magazine named Piazza one of the most influential people in the gay and lesbian rights movement[4] and he was honored by Pacific School of Religion with its “Leading Voice” award for his social justice work on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. His published books include "Liberating the Gospel"; "Liberating Word, A Daily Reflection for Liberals, Volume One: The First Testament"; "Gay by God: How to be Lesbian or Gay and Christian" (formerly "Holy Homosexuals"); "Queeries: Questions Lesbians and Gays have for God"; "The Real antiChrist: How America Sold its Soul"; "Prophetic Renewal: Hope for the Liberal Church," designed to help restore vitality to liberal congregations; and "Liberating Hope: Daring to Renew the Mainline Church" co-written with the Rev. Cameron Trimble. Trimble is co-director with Piazza of the Center for Progressive Renewal.

Piazza and his partner Bill have been together since 1980 and have two daughters.


  1. ^ Caniglia, Julie (December 1999). "Cathedral of Hope". Out. Here Publishing: 46. ISSN 1062-7928. 
  2. ^ http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/APStories/stories/D8LJTOAO2.html
  3. ^ http://www.dallasvoice.com/artman/publish/article_8519.php
  4. ^ Gideonse, Ted; Johnson, Hans; Jordan, Tony; Meyer, Lisa; Walker, Christian; Barrett, Jon; Gallagher, John (August 17, 1999). "OUR BEST and BRIGHTEST ACTIVISTS: society.(individual contributions to the gay rights movement)". The Advocate. 

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