Pastor Paully Adams is a trans clergy activist, the associate pastor for St. John’s Metropolitan Community Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. He grew up in Long Island City, New York, with his Baptist father, nonreligious mother and three siblings. At the age of sixteen Adams’ mother separated from his father and moved the family down south to Wilson, North Carolina. A curious child, Adams asked numerous questions and found himself in trouble more often than not because of it. He dabbled in different Christian traditions such as Catholic and Methodist traditions until his late teenage years where he found the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and joined that tradition. He was able to score a full scholarship towards seminary at Lexington Theological Seminary in Lexington, Kentucky in 1995 because of this.
Before seminary Adams pursued a degree in computer programming at Wilson Technical Community College in 1990. Afterwards he attended Barton College to achieve his degree in religion and philosophy, with an emphasis in mathematics in 1992. He also went to East Carolina University to earn his degree in middle school mathematics and became a middle school math teacher full time in 2001.
He lived his life as a lesbian for a number of years. While at St. John’s MCC, he finally found the words to describe what he was, but it took him years to admit it in public. He publicly came out as a transgender man in 2019.
Adams finds his greatest accomplishment to be finding the bravery to come out to himself and to live as who he truly is. He also has found a great sense of accomplishment in how he has been able to be there for his students. Adams has been teaching for around 22 years and has found that his students graciously embraced who he is. In turn, he has found his class to be a safe space for his students. He has found he has struggled with juggling numerous things at once. In addition to being a part-time associate pastor at St. John’s MCC and a full-time teacher, he is a City Commissioner for the city of Wilson, and is on the Human Resource Commission. Adams hopes for his legacy to be one of following the two greatest Commandments: loving God and his neighbor as he loves himself.
(This biographical statement written by Dorya Mason from an interview with Paully Adams and was edited by Adams.)
Biography Date: September 2023
MCC | Clergy Activist | Black | Trans activism | Raleigh | North Carolina
“Pastor Paully Adams | Profile”, LGBTQ Religious Archives Network, accessed September 27, 2023, https://lgbtqreligiousarchives.org/profiles/paully-adams.