Rev. Dr. Chris Ayers
Pastor (pictured left)
Rev. Dr. Chris has been at Wedgewood since 1989 and has seen the church transformed from a moderate Southern Baptist Church to a church with Muslim, Buddhist, agnostic, and atheist members, along with Christians from many different backgrounds. Among other ministries, Chris participated in the Hope Chapel ministry to Charlotte's homeless community for 20 years, was on Wedgewood's RAIN teams (Regional Aids Interfaith Network), and sponsored a prison inmate, with whom he close relationship (best friend) until Charles died in 2018. Chris is a geek, loves reading seminary type books, is a better than average photographer - you can see his (and Vicky's) photographs at: https://chrisandvickyayers.smugmug.com/. Chris’ interest in astronomy has resulted in the building of the Willis Observatory (named after his in-laws and dedicated to his brother-in-law, Mike) [https://willisobservatory.space].Pastor Chris celebrates not only diversity but creativity, the Wedgewood Art gallery creation being one of his favorite things about Wedgewood.
Below is Chris’ resume.
July 9, 1958
Vicky Willis Ayers
Photography, astronomy/deep space photography, golf, early church history, text criticism, reading seminary type books authored by people from marginalized people, developing relationships with transgender people (Over the years I’ve been blessed with so many incredible transgender close friends.)
Clemmons First Baptist Church, April 27, 1977
Clemmons First Baptist Church, February 27, 1983
Pastor, Wedgewood Church, Charlotte, NC, 1989 - present.
Minister, Bethel Baptist Church, Chapel Hill (also known as Heaven), NC, August 1983 to January 1989.
Doctor of Ministry, Columbia Theological Seminary, 1997. (4.0 out of 4.0)
Master of Theology, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1985. (4.0 out of 4.0)
Master of Divinity with Languages, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1982. ("A" average)
Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1980.
J. Lake Williams Christian Ethics Award. Presented by the faculty of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary to a student who has exhibited exceptional skill and promise in the study of Christian Ethics, 1983.
American Association of Pastoral Counselors. Reached Member level.
Counselor, Charlotte Counseling Center, Charlotte, NC, 1996 to 1998.
Presbyterian Samaritan Counseling Center Training Program, Charlotte, NC, 1992 to 1994.
“Thank God for Love and Lust,” Qnotes, February 9, 2018
“Drag Queens and the Bobbittizing of God, Qnotes, February 10, 2017.
“God, Thongs and Sex,” Qnotes, May 6, 2016.
“Transgender Lives,” New York Times, 2015.
"Homosexuality Is Not A Sin: The Christian Education of a Baptist Minister" in Opposing Viewpoints: Homosexuality, 2013.
Fuse, Why We Shouldn't Talk About Same Sex Marriage, 2011
Fuse, My Transgender Fantasy, 2010
Fuse, No Way To Clean It (the Bible) Up, April 2010
Gay Marriage Not Defeated, 2009
Gay Marriage Not Defeated, The Center For Progressive Christianity
Thank God we have a godless Constitution, Charlotte Observer, 2005
Homosexuality Is Not A Sin: The Christian Education of a Baptist Minister, Charlotte Observer, 2004
Just the Person for Church Leadership, Charlotte Observer
Is It Possible for a Preacher to be too Popular?, Charlotte Observer
July 4th: A Dangerous Day for Christians, Charlotte Observer
Beware of Christian Herods, Charlotte Observer
Reflections, Smyth & Helwys, 7 devotions, April 1997.
“Show Compassion to People who have AIDS” Baptists Today, January 23, 1977.
Reflections, Smyth & Helwys, 7 devotions, December 1995.
Reflections, Smyth & Helwys, 7 devotions, May 1994.
Formations, Smyth & Helwys, 7 Sunday School lessons, April/May 1993.
Formations, Smyth & Helwys, Sunday School lesson, March 22, 1993.
DOCTOR OF MINISTRY DISSERTATION
Reclaiming The Eucharist: The Church and the Ritual
MASTER OF THEOLOGY THESIS
Protestant Uses of the Bible in Contemporary Christian Ethics: A Methodological Study
MINISTRY INVOLVEMENT (among other):
Clergy For Equality Leadership Council, 2011. Sunday School Teacher, Hope Chapel for the Homeless, 1989 to 2010. Prison Sponsorship program, 1992. Relationship with ex-convict until 2018 when my dear friend died. Regional AIDS Interfaith Care Team, 1996 to 2004. Room In The Inn ministry, 1999 to present. Board member, Metrolina AIDS Project, May 2004 to Dec. 2007.
Founder/Administrator of Charlotte Tesla Owners/Enthusiasts Facebook group, 2014 – present.