Senior Pastor Rev. Michael Piazza is a spiritual visionary, author and social justice advocate who came to Virginia-Highland Church after 23 years with the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, Texas. Under his courageous leadership as senior pastor and later dean, the Cathedral of Hope made religious history by reclaiming Christianity as a faith of extravagant grace, radical inclusion, and relentless compassion while becoming the world’s largest liberal Christian church with a predominantly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender outreach. A native of Georgia, Rev. Piazza has pastored churches in Texas, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Florida. He holds bachelor’s degrees in history and psychology from Valdosta State University and a Master of Divinity from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta and is a doctoral candidate at Hartford Seminary, where he is an adjunct professor teaching church growth.
Once named by the “Advocate” magazine as one of the most influential people in the gay and lesbian movement, he also was honored by Pacific School of Religion with its “Leading Voice” award for his social justice work on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. His published books include Liberating the Gospel; Liberating Word, A Daily Reflection for Liberals, Volume One: The First Testament; Gay by God: How to be Lesbian or Gay and Christian (formerly Holy Homosexuals); Queeries: Questions Lesbians and Gays Have for God; The Real antiChrist: How America Sold its Soul; and Prophetic Renewal: Hope for the Liberal Church. He is the co-author of Liberating Hope: Daring to Renew the Mainline Church, which was released by Pilgrim Press.
Rev. Piazza and his late partner, Bill Eure, met in 1980 and were married for 35 years. Together, they raised two wonderful daughters.
Under Rev. Piazza’s guidance, Virginia-Highland Church has experienced an amazing rebirth. We invite you to come and experience the dynamic revival of our church yourself and help us continue to build a dynamic and diverse community of faith.