The Right Rev. John L. Selders, Jr., is an ordained minister serving the United Church of Christ (UCC) as the organizing pastor of Amistad UCC in Hartford, Connecticut. John was born and raised in an extended family of pastors and church leaders in St. Louis. Gifted in music, John became a widely recognized songwriter, musician and performer. John’s academic and theological training was at Life Christian Bible College, Webster University and Eden Theological Seminary. In 1984, John confronted HIV/AIDS for the first time when a deacon in his father’s congregation in St. Louis came out as gay and living with AIDS. John engaged in extensive education and discussion about this new disease with the leadership of the congregation who agreed to continue this deacon in his church position and struggle with appropriate ministry responses.