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Anthony Venn-Brown
(March 13, 1951 - living) Australia

Anthony Venn-Brown

Author, activist


Anthony is a former evangelist and minister in the Australian Assemblies of God and the Co-founder and Convenor of Freedom 2b(e) which is a network for GLBTIQ (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer) people from Pentecostal, Charismatic and Evangelical backgrounds.

He pioneered several Assemblies of God churches in regional NSW before moving to Sydney with his family in the early 1980s and founding "Every Believer Evangelism." Venn-Brown became a popular preacher at all the major churches of the Assemblies of God in Australia including Hillsong Church's predecessor Christian Life Centre and also preached overseas. In 1990 he became the first Pentecostal to be appointed to the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelism in Australia.

Anthony was the original founder of Youth Alive in NSW. In 1985 the NSW Assemblies of God approached him to work with youth groups and start some large scale events. The first Youth Alive event was a concert held in the beachside suburb of Manly, New South Wales on 23 February 1985. Some more conservative members of the Assemblies of God opposed the event because of the use of Christian rock music and walked out. However, Youth Alive became a very successful youth organisation and eventually grew to events of over 20 000 people.

He resigned as a minister in 1991 after coming out as a gay man. In 2004 he published his autobiography, A Life of Unlearning - Coming out of the church, One Man's Struggle. The book detailed his struggle to reconcile his homosexuality with his Christian beliefs. It won the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Business Association Literary award in 2004. The revised edition, A Life of Unlearning - a Journey to Find the Truth was published in 2007.

Preferring to be known as a gay ambassador instead of gay activist, Anthony is now a representative and advocate of gay and lesbian people. He seeks to create an informed, intelligent yet respectful dialogue about the issues of same sex orientation within the Christian and particularly Pentecostal community.

Anthony doesn't feel he will return to preaching, saying 30 years down the track someone who is gay or lesbian will be allowed to minister. I hope I'm there to see it, but I feel I've had my ministry. When I came back to God I felt like I had the essence of what it was all about. What I have now is real. I have learned to live non-judgementally, to live with integrity and I didn't have that as a preacher."

Anthony was voted as one of the 25 most influential gay and lesbian Australians in both 2007 and 2009 and was one of the keynote speakers at the 2009 "Evangelical Network Conference" in Arizona. He currently attends Hillsong at Waterloo.


Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Websites: http://gayambassador.blogspot.com/ - http://lgbttraining.blogspot.com/ - http://www.anthonyvennbrown.com

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