Rev. Renee DuBose, Pastor
Rev. Dr. Renee DuBose brings a wealth of ministerial experience to Our Hope in her capacity as our Founding Pastor. Before being credentialed by UFMCC in November 1998, Renee completed a Master of Arts degree in Religious Education at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in Church Vocations at William Carey College. Most recently, In May 2010, she completed her Doctor of Ministry (D.Min) degree from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA. Her thesis entitled, Two Men, Two Movements and Our Call to Seek Justice: Bayard Rustin, Troy Perry and the Civil Rights and Gay Rights Movements, sought answers to what the Gay Rights Movement could learn from the Civil Rights Movement.
Since beginning Our Hope MCC in August 1999, Renee has been involved in various community events, groups & state wide activities. She is an active leader within several local groups including CMA (Campus Ministry Association) of UGA; she also serves as an advisory board member for the UGA LGBT Resource Center; & is part of the UGA coalition of GLOBES (Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual Employees & Supporters) & BFOS (Black Faculty or Staff). In recent years, Renee has worked in several local & statewide efforts to secure equality & protection for Georgia’s g/l/b/t (gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender) citizens. In 2004, she co-chaired Georgia’s ‘Religious Advisory Committee’ that brought clergy & faith leaders together to fight Amendment 1. She was often called upon to ‘be the expert voice of the Christian, gay community’ during this time & met many incredible people. And although GA voters ultimately upheld this discriminatory amendment, Renee was proud that Athens-Clarke County led the state with the fewest numbers of ‘yes’ votes! (52%-48% – with some districts actually defeating the amendment outright!) For her part in these efforts, Renee was awarded the ‘Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. /Founder’s Award’ in 2005 by the Athens-Clarke County Human Relations Council.
Continually invited to speak in local classrooms and sit on panel discussions, Rev. Dr. DuBose encourages meaningful dialogue and tolerance as she seeks to educate the next generation of young leaders through her strong conviction that God created a broad spectrum of diversity that ought to be celebrated. Her vision challenges all of us to a higher possibility – that of living together peacefully as equal brothers and sisters in the human family.
Renee’s ideals, from her Christian faith, are embodied in the succinct teachings of Jesus Christ—to ‘love God’ & ‘to love our neighbors as ourselves’. Renee has grown from her Southern Baptist roots & now has enlarged her understanding of who God is & how God desires to ‘open up’ the infinite possibilities of grace & possibilities to ALL of God’s people! Her personal spiritual truths most closely aligns with the tenets of ‘The Center for Progressive Christianity’, which include, but are not limited to: **Proclaim Jesus Christ as our Gate to the realm of God **Think that the way we treat on another & other people is more important than the way we express our beliefs **Fine more grace in the search for meaning than in absolute certainty, in the questions than in the answers **See ourselves as a spiritual community in which we discover the resources required for our work in the world: striving for justice & peace among all people, bringing hope to those Jesus called the ‘least of His brother & sisters’….
Renee currently lives in Athens with her wonderful partner, Dondi Vickers. She enjoys reading and working on puzzles (whenever she actually has a free evening), as well as spending time with friends & family – especially her 10 year old niece, Jorden – who lives in Hattiesburg, MS. Her personal life goal is ‘to leave the world a better place than she found it! We at Our Hope consider ourselves blessed to have Renee as our Pastor.
Madison McDonald, Pianist
Ellen Meadows, Director of Music
Ellen Meadows is a rising senior at the University of Georgia currently working on completing a Bachelor’s of Music Therapy. Her hometown is Sandy Springs, GA. She has over fifteen years of piano instruction, four years in classical vocal training and studies under Dr. Richard Zimdars at the HHSOM for piano concentration. Ms. Meadows has a strong background of teaching individuals of all ages how to play the piano in various styles and levels of proficiency. Her work in music therapy has included clinicals with children with autism, Athens Advantage Behavioral Health, adults with IDD (Intellectual Development Disabilities) and Camp Cocoon, a camp designed to help children process loss of family and friends. Her personal commitment to sharing music with the community extends into her working experiences as Music/Choir Director of Our Hope Metropolitan Community Church as well as the leading cantor and pianist at the UGA Catholic Center for Saturday services.
Megan Ward, Web Developer
Megan is a graduate of the University of Georgia with an undergraduate degree in Public Relations and a certificate in New Media. She is currently working towards earning her Masters in Mass Communication and Journalism from Grady College and hopes to one day teach college-level journalism classes.