about Me

about Me

Thursday, October 13, 2016


Here is a sampling of the outpouring of beautiful comments on yesterday's blog post...

Your continued love and support is always appreciated, and has made this important milestone date in my life that much more special...

I love you all!

"I knew you then, I know you now; I respected you then, I respect you now; I called you friend then, I call you friend, now; I loved you then, I love you now; you were there for me then, you're there for me now; I heard you then, I hear you now; I used to see you in the NOW, I still see you in the NOW. Was anything "supposed" to change, because you "came out" ? If so, I didn't get that memo. Just keepin it REAL ;)"

"Thanku bishop Jim Swilley for your openness , strength and courage to me and so many in the community that have your true support. growing up in such a conservative town where i live its hard to be ones self, you have saved so many lives out there and that truely means alot to me and so many. Im so thankful each and everyday for you Jim , Ken , & your whole family and all of your ministry its touched me and so many lives your our true voice . Thanku for all that you do Jim it touches so many of our lives and makes a true difference Thanku Jim."

"If you had never had the courage to come out, I never would have had the pleasure of getting to know you through this forum...you have enriched my life through your zest for life, compassion for your fellow man and obvious love of family and your calling. It's only right that you are free to be your most authentic self!"
- LI

"I didn't know you back then.."BUT" I am so glad I know you now. I have watched that video several times and videos of your ministry then and I am so thankful for what you teach now..."
- FM

"I told you then and I think it's even more true today ... You have saved so many lives and impacted so many people all over the world with your courage and openness ! Please know that what you did had an impact that I don't think you or most others can understand ! You were a voice that some of us needed and your voice continues to give us hope and courage! You are one of the bravest people I've ever met and you continue to inspire myself and so many others ! Thank you from the depths of my heart and being! I love you !"

"Blessings to you and yours. I am touched by you and all that you've been through. You're a true example of what our group should be, but few attain."
- GC

"Your authenticity is so very welcomed. It is inspiring. We need more folks in ministry to stand up and speak truth about their God-given sexuality so more people, in turn, can find live honestly. God bless."
- EH

"Bishop so proud of you & to see how much you have grown over those 6 yrs. So thankful you can be true to yourself & live your best life...

"I watched this in its entirety yesterday and was very touched by the love in the room for you and knowing this must have been very difficult for you.(yes it made me tear up) I have not known you very long since I recently met you through Ken, but I certainly look forward to more time with the two of you. Both of you are very good men and I wish you all the best in your future with the ministry and personally."
- TD

"I'm so glad u came out. Being visible like that has helped countless others. Thank you Bishop!"

"Thank you for always being so open and thoughtful. I have shared my story with you and Ken and you know some of what I've been through. After seeing your coming out sermon in it's entirety, your honest words and bravery helped me come out in a different way. I was already out to the world as a gay man, but I had closed myself off to the world as a grieving man. I was in a very dark place and wasn't living life. You showed me that if you want to be happy, you have to be you. Words matter. Truth matters. Your words helped save my life. I was at a point where I really didn't care anymore. I am happy now and found love again. 1 year 3 months now! I am super happy for you and Ken. I am thankful that you both are friends of mine. I love and respect you both so much. Thank you for what you've done and continue to do for me and thank you for what you have done and continue to do for so many others."
- EJ

"I always watched you on TV and had respect for you, but the courage you had to come out increased that respect so much more."

"Such an awesome video!!! We are all fearfully and wonderfully made. Living in your truth is such a liberating and beautiful thing."
- DL

"Excellent ! I am so proud of you and us! When I met you I knew it was time to come out! It didn't matter who didn't speak to me or not, or want to be around me. All I knew was it felt right, and it was time to live my life, and I didn't even look back! I've said this before, but when mama was getting worse and I had to do things for her that really were very difficult and emotional for me, I prayed for strength and God gave me the strength I needed to do what had to be done to keep her at home. I've been gay all my life and God knew that, and He took my hand and walked me through a very emotional time in my life. After mom passed, I knew that it was time to live my life, so I called on God again to send me someone that I could do that with. I never dreamed He would send me the best He had! I truly believe you are my reward! I got the best of both worlds...a Pastor who is anointed, and the most wonderful husband that I get to share a blessed life with! I love my husband more every day, I love my family and your (Jim's) family. I love God, and I'm very thankful for all his blessings! I'm very proud and thankful to be able to live my life now as an openly gay married man and not have to hide anymore!"
- Ken Marshall

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


In honor of today, October 11, being 'National Coming Out Day' ( +National Coming Out Day on Facebook), and because day after tomorrow, October 13, is the 6th anniversary of my publicly coming out, I have a few reflections and observations that I'd like to share...

First of all, I'm amazed at how time flies, and at how much things have changed in my life, in my thinking, and in the world at large concerning what it means to come out.

As of this writing, Ken and I have been together for going on 5 years, and have been legally married for nearly 2 of those years. We are very happy, very much in love, very committed to one another, our kids and grandkids are good, I am still in the ministry, still a Bishop, and for the most part live the life that I at one time only dared to imagine.

The avalanche of hate mail that I once regularly received from the mainstream Christian world after coming out has pretty much completely disintegrated, and has been replaced by a fairly regular stream of supportive correspondence from around the world. Haven't had a death threat in several years now, and most of my loudest detractors in the Christian media have either lost interest in my story or have died off.

My ministry is considerably scaled down now in size from what it was, which is frankly the way I like it, and the majority of the people who attend Metron are those who have been in covenant with me for many years. Most of them are straight, most of them are married, and most of them were a part of Church In The Now. I'm very proud of the megachurch that I started and pastored for 30 years, but I don't miss the stress of maintaining the budget, physical property and staff that was required to keep it going at all. I just do the part of ministry now that I love, and I live a happy, stress-free life because of it.

I have more to say, but I'll put the rest of the post into video form.
Please click on the link for the video...


Saturday, August 13, 2016

ITLA COMMUNITY IN FAITH - Tuesday, August 30, 2016

"For years In The Life Atlanta (ITLA) has presented an interfaith service. The service initially started out as a memorial and over the last three years evolved into a time of celebration, inspiration, fellowship, prayer, singing, and worship. 

I cannot think of any better way to start off the week of Black LGBTQ Pride celebrations than with a moment of praise and worship to almighty God, fellowship with other faiths and receiving inspirational words for our life and our living.

Meet us there!
Tuesday August 30, 2016
Pastor Paul Graetz & City of Light Church
1379 Tullie Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30329"

Randle Eichelberger

Monday, July 18, 2016

In the Mail

Hello Bishop,
My sister & I have just been introduced to your ministry by a friend of ours through YouTube. First and foremost we'd like to say THANK YOU for being such a great example of courage, love & God. We both have come from a background where God was so misrepresented that we almost gave up altogether because we had a certain perception of God through what others (pastors, ministers, etc) had told/shown us. Just when we had almost given up hope we saw your video on YouTube when you shared with your church YOUR truth. That was such a powerful moment. To witness that moment, even through YouTube, was empowering and enlightening. You are clearly a true man of God and HOW you love him is so evident through your life. However, despite the kick back you received after that, I am so glad that you didn't allow that to stop you there. Your "in the now" sessions have been such a blessing to us! I think of you every day bishop and I pray for you & your family. I can honestly say that you have made such a great impact on my life already and I am grateful for your sacrifice to get where you are today! Never forget that you are such an amazing man. God bless you bishop. I do have one question. Where can my sister and I visit you? We currently live in Maryland but we would like to come to hear you preach one day. Do you hold any conferences? And if so how can we be involved?