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Alumnx Feature: Bishop Yvette A. Flunder

Bishop Yvette A. Flunder is a preacher, pastor, activist, author, and singer based in Oakland, CA. She’s the senior pastor of the City of Refuge UCC and Presiding Bishop of The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries.  

Born and raised in San Francisco, Flunder grew up in the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) but joined Love Center Ministries as an adult. She was ordained in that church and served as associate pastor as well as the lead singer for Walter Hawkins and the Love Center Choir.  

In 1991, after 10 years at Love Center Ministries, Flunder left to help found City of Refuge UCC with other gay and lesbian Christians looking for a radically inclusive place to worship. In response to the AIDS epidemic, the church also opened Ark of Refuge, Inc. A nonprofit that continues to provide housing services, education, and training for people affected by HIV/AIDS. 

In 2003 Flunder was consecrated Presiding Bishop of The Fellowship, renamed The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries (TFAM) in 2011. TFAM is a multi-denominational coalition of over 100 primarily African American Christian leaders and laity representing churches and faith-based organizations from all over the US and worldwide.  

In addition to earning a Certificate of Ministry Studies and a Master of Arts from PSR, Flunder has an undergraduate Degree from College of San Mateo and a Doctor of Ministry degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary.  

Of her time at PSR where she also served as a trustee and adjunct professor, Flunder said, “When I obtained my Certificate of Ministry Studies and Master of Arts from PSR, the courses and seminars connected me, and students like me to the disenfranchised and oppressed. We saw the work of Justice as the heart of Christ. 

At PSR, students are not boxed into monument thinking but guided into work of movements; movements that open paths for radical inclusivity and extravagant grace. In both the graduate studies and the certificate studies program, PSR focuses on community service and growth while encouraging the students’ spiritual formation.” 

Bishop Flunder has served as a board member of the National Sexuality Resource Center, and as an active voice for the Human Rights Campaign as well as Co-Chair of the Religious Advisory Committee of the National Black Justice Coalition. She has also served as a Board Member of the Shanti Project, as Chair of the San Francisco Inter-religious Coalition on AIDS, Chair of the Black Adoption Placement and Research Center, Founding member of the African American Interfaith Alliance on AIDS, Member of the Alameda County Ryan White Consortium, a member of the San Francisco HIV/AIDS Planning and Prevention Council, a consultant to the Congressional Black Caucus Health Brain Trust, and as a Member of the California Ryan White Working Group.  In 2011, she received a Robert C. Kirkwood Community Leadership Award from the San Francisco Community Foundation. 

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