New Member of Staff – August Laperche

August Laperche (pronouns: they/them) has recently returned to the Bay Area after spending several years in North Texas. August’s spouse, Evan (he/him), grew up in Fort Worth and his family still lives there, which is what brought them to TX in late 2019. They now live in Oakland – near Lake Merritt – with their cat Toothless (named after the dragon from How To Train Your Dragon). August likes coffee (like, they are kind of a nerd about it…), finding secret beaches at Point Reyes, journaling, taking Polaroids, and doing arts & crafts. They hold a Master of Arts in Theology from Phillips Theological Seminary and a Bachelor’s in Social Work.

August was born and raised in the suburbs of Tampa, FL. They were brought up within Christianity, in a “denominationally ambiguous” way. August’s family attended and served in many churches throughout their young life, but the churches overwhelmingly had conservative theology and Biblical literalism in common. One exception was the few years August’s family attended a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) congregation. This was the first place where August received communion and felt fully welcomed into a church community. Their family attended there until August was in middle school when their dad accepted a call to pastor a Cumberland Presbyterian church outside of Tampa, FL. These middle and high school years that August spent helping their parents serve the church, along with some life-changing experiences at summer camp, were what helped August clarify and articulate a sense of call to ministry at a young age.

August’s college years were spent at a private Christian university. They chose to attend there because of their aspirations of going into ministry and studying pastoral leadership. It wasn’t until August arrived during welcome week and attempted to declare their major that they were told that because they were not a man, August could not declare pastoral leadership as their course of study. This was disorienting for August – while they were raised in a relatively conservative environment, their gifts and sense of call to ministry had always been affirmed by their church. Given this roadblock, August decided to declare Social Work as their major, instead, because they had a strong passion for serving people and affirming their dignity and worth.

During August’s first year of college, their family moved from Tampa to the Sacramento area. For August’s final year of school, they were required to complete an intensive full-time internship in a social work setting, and they opted to move to Roseville to be with their family and complete their internship with Placer County’s adult mental health services. While working through the last semester of school and their internship, August felt the call and nudge toward ministry once again. They decided to pursue seminary.

August spent the first year of their graduate program in Marin County at San Francisco Theological Seminary. They met Evan at school, as he was wrapping up his Master of Divinity studies. August also re-connected with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and discovered Lafayette Christian Church, which became their home church and the sponsoring congregation of August’s ordination process within the Disciples of Christ. This was the first affirming church that August had ever been a part of, and it felt transformative and safe. It sparked a great passion for them to serve in ministry contexts that concentrate on the sacredness of LGBTQ+ folks, and uplift their voices. 

Shortly after moving to Texas with Evan, August began working with Q Christian Fellowship – an international and remote non-profit that supports LGBTQ+ Christians, their parents, and allies. August spent over 3 years serving at QCF, and most recently was in the role of Program and Development Director. But, given the hostile environment that Texas continues to show itself to be (both politically and weather-wise!), it was no longer feeling safe or comfortable for August and Evan to be there. They decided to prayerfully seek opportunities to move back to the Bay Area, where they had friends and things felt more safe and familiar to them as an LGBTQ+ couple.

Now, August is thrilled to be introduced as the new Director of Operations for First Church Berkeley! They are excited to work in such a progressive, affirming setting and to get to know the special folks who make up this unique and meaningful community.