Pastor Vicki Hamilton and her husband, William, are both 2002 TEEM graduates from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkley, California. She was ordained in April 2002. They were called to St. John’s in January 2000 while membership was on the decline. The congregation has changed dramatically and has become ethnically diverse. They shepherd a community, proud to be a congregation striving to love and respect one another.
Pastor Vicki has served within the church, and the Jacksonville community, for many years. Her service includes: member of the taskforce for the formation of the ELCA race, ethnicity and culture social statement, planning committee member for the new women’s organization, two-term executive board member for Women of the ELCA, and church-wide board member of the African American Lutheran Association (AALA). She has served as small group leader at region 9 Bishop School, Assistant to the Bishop for the African American Strategy, synod’s leadership task force, outreach committee, anti-racism team and candidacy committee. She has also served ecumenically as keynote speaker with Church Women United, the Via De Christo movement, Beat the Odds (a community program helping and encouraging young teen parents to finish school) and has conducted numerous workshops on self-esteem and empowerment.
William and Vicki wrote this beautiful letter to the Jacksonville community, urging the importance of why we all need to join the LGBT community and pledge our support for the passage of a comprehensive Human Rights Ordinance.
We are the Hamilton’s, William and Victoria. We have been married for 44 years. Our family consists of three adult children and five grandchildren. We have worked hard at raising them to be compassionate and caring people. We try our best to set examples for them, and others, by holding integrity and care for God’s creations above all else.
For twenty years as a military family, we sacrificed long separations to insure that Americans could be treated fairly and just. That personal safety and the ability to live your life in freedom were paramount. That Justice in being able for all to work and make a sustainable livelihood matters to my family.
After retirement my family continued to fight the causes of injustices. We exchanged our military uniform for a new one. We where chosen to put on the collar and yoke of ordained ministry. Still called, equipped and sent to help fight for those same protections to insure no one is living on the margins of our society.
We could not in good conscience stand by while there is the slightest possibility that one of our LGBT Sisters and Brothers can face discrimination in jobs and housing. No matter what your belief system says, this is a Human Rights Issue. Everyone has the right to make a sustainable living and not stand in fear of loosing their job for who they are or perceived to be in their sexual orientation. Qualifications should be the determining factor.
A quote from The Rev. Martin Luther (1483-1546): “There comes a time when one must take a position that is not safe nor political nor popular but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right”.**
We are out of the closet on this issue, won’t you join us?
Rev’s William and Victoria Hamilton, Pastors
St. John’s Lutheran Church, ELCA
** Editor’s Note: While we most often associate this quote with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in his speech, Delivered at the National Cathedral, Washington, D.C., on 31 March 1968, his writings and teachings were often influenced by those of his name sake, thus the Hamiltons choose to give rightful credit to the originator of the thought.
- Ally Profile: The Hamiltons (livefromjacksonville.com)