Minister Louis “L.J.” Mitchell was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. Raised in a Southern Baptist tradition, Louis comes from a long line of people who believe that community building and community service are important Christian values. A long time activist, advocate, counselor and student, Louis has been involved in the fight for fairness, equity, respect and self-determination for over two decades.
Mr. Mitchell and his wife, Krysia L. Villón, moved to the Pioneer Valley in Massachusetts in 2001. Since that time Louis has continued to work with agencies that serve the needy and disenfranchised.
His long history of service with various agencies and boards includes being the first “out” transgender-identified Board member of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and a founding member of Lesbians and Gays of African Descent for Democratic Action. He is currently the Co-Founder of Recovering the Promise Ministries, a Fellowship-affiliated ministry in Springfield, MA that is seeking status with the United Church of Christ.
Louis was recently featured in the documentary, Still Black: A Portrait of Black Transmen, as well as many articles through the years. He remains in demand as a consultant, public speaker, trainer and preacher. He is the co-author of forthcoming book, a multi-generational collaboration discussing the transitions – spiritual, legal, medical, etc. – of three African-American men.
Louis is currently seeking his Master’s of Divinity at Andover Newton Theological School, with a focus on the intersectionalities of race/ethnicity, social class, cultural barriers, gender identity, affectional affinity and spirituality.
Louis is grateful for the reconciliation, restoration and grace of a loving God that surpasses all of his needs!