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Highlighting North Carolina's Affirming Faith Leaders, Advocates

Meet some of the leaders and advocates within North Carolina's affirming faith family

Equality NC each month would like to highlight several of the many affirming faith advocates and allies working to promote spiritual affirmation and full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in North Carolina. We are honored to have these individuals working by our side.


Robert Conn currently serves as co-chair of Winston-Salem’s Interfaith Voice, an organization that promotes affirmation and equality among congregations of various denominations. Conn, who enjoyed distinguished careers in journalism and public relations prior to his retirement, has a long history of advocating for LGBT affirmation within North Carolina faith communities. He served as vice president of Temple Emanuel in Winston-Salem from 1990 to 1993 and served as president, board chairman, and CEO of Temple Beth El in Charlotte from 1975 to 1979 where he previously held numerous other positions. He served on the Executive Committee of the Interfaith Partnership for Advocacy and Reconciliation from 1998 to 2012 and as a board member for the Triad Advocacy Network from 1996 to 2001. In addition to his service to LGBT faith organizations, Conn over the years has served a number of other community service groups and advocacy projects.


Rev. Julie Peeples has served as Senior Minister of Congregational UCC in Greensboro since 1991. Previous experience includes campus ministry, and serving as a Chaplain at the International Headquarters for Habitat for Humanity in Americus, GA. Born and raised in Charleston, SC., she is a graduate of Furman University and Andover Newton Theological School in Boston. She has been a strong advocate for equality and justice issues, and is an active participant in the Moral Monday Movement. With two other women clergy, she founded Welcome Conversations, which provides resources to assist faith communities in moving toward greater inclusivity. She has received awards from the Guilford Green Foundation, Equality NC, the United Church of Christ, and the Community Foundation for Greater Greensboro. She currently serves on the board of Mustard Seed Community Health and as co-chair of the Greensboro Faith Leaders Council. She and her husband Paul Davis have two daughters and one puppy. Congregational UCC began moving toward greater inclusivity in the late ‘90’s, and in 2002 held the first ceremony for a same-sex couple in a Christian sanctuary in Greensboro. The church was active in fighting Amendment One. Since marriage equality came to NC, the church has celebrated two dozen weddings. The congregation is diverse, vibrant, and welcoming of all, and committed to working in the community and beyond for equality and justice.

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