Get to Know Alan Manning Chambers

Professional Biography of Alan Manning Chambers

Over the last 20 years, Alan has been a frequent guest on media outlets around the world and has been interviewed by every major media outlet globally including: The New York Times, The Atlantic Magazine, BBCThe Irish TimesLos Angeles TimesThe Washington Post, Huffington PostTIME, CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360Newsweek, ABC’s 20/20Good Morning AmericaNightline and World News Tonight, NBC’s Today and Nightly News, and multiple programs on MSNBC, CNN, HLN, and Fox. He and his wife, Leslie, have also been regularly featured guests on the OWN hit show, Our America with Lisa Ling. He has written for The Boston Globe, The Orlando Sentinel, Evangelism.Net, Religion News Service, and The Washington Post.  He and his wife, Leslie, co-authored their memoir, My Exodus: From FEAR to GRACE (Zondervan/Harper Collins, 2015)

Once heralded as a hero in the Conservative Christian world as man who overcame his gay orientation, Charisma named Alan ‘One of the Top 30 Leaders Representing the Future of the American Church’ and World Magazine gave him their top honor, Daniel of the Year 2011, though both might now regret their choice because in June 2013 Alan shut down Exodus International and apologized for the harm he believes conservative Christianity has done to the LGBTQ+ community. Outreach Magazine named Alan’s first book, God’s Grace and the Homosexual Next Door (Harvest House, 2006), Outreach of the Year in 2007.

Alan and Leslie Chambers are fierce advocates for agape love powered by grace. Their primary outreach is in the evangelical church focusing on LGBTQ+ inclusion. Alan and Leslie are elders at Grace Church, speak and teach across the globe, but live their daily lives in Alan’s hometown, Winter Park, Florida where they love to eat Blue Bell Ice Cream with their amazing kids, Isaac and Molly.

Connect with Alan on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter @AlanMChambers. Leslie is also on Twitter @LeslieMChambers. You can follow their book, My Exodus: From FEAR to GRACE on Twitter @MyExodusBook.

Alan served as the final president of Exodus International from 2001 to 2013 when together with a core team of leaders and board of directors he closed the organization and began making great strides towards building relationships with the LGBTQIA community and encouraging the global Church to do the same. With a goal to reduce fear, establish trust, and inspire hope on both sides for the sake of the Gospel, Alan and his wife, Leslie, spend their time being available to anyone who desires to talk. He has been featured on every major media outlet across the globe. Alan and Leslie’s first book together, My Exodus: From Fear to Grace (Zondervan, 2015) releases on September 29.

The Chambers spend the best part of their lives with their 10 year olds, Molly and Isaac, and the rest having conversations about all things gay with anyone and everyone over lunch in Winter Park, Florida or in other locations throughout the world.
Follow Alan and Leslie on Twitter: @AlanMChambers and @LeslieMChambers

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9 thoughts on “Get to Know Alan Manning Chambers

  1. http://wespeaklove.org/exodus/

    This is what I would call a “good first step.”

    I have the feeling that you have a great many more, very large steps to take.

    Away from the Bible. Away from any organized religion. Toward humanity.

    That’s the direction. You take the rest of the steps.

  2. When I was 8 years old,I was in a Vacation Bible School in a southern baptist church. When an invitation was given one day to respond to God,I did so. I made my way up front & was met by the pastor who asked me something along the lines of,”Did I want to believe/receive/accept Jesus Christ as Savior”? I responded in the affirmative. He prayed & I remember crying as it was very emotional for me. When I went home that afternoon,I excitedly told my mom that I had been saved. I was baptized shortly after that. Unfortunately,no one came along beside me after that & discipled me,explained to me in more detail what had happened to me or told me how to grow & advance in my faith. I was ok for a few years. When someone asked me if I was a Christian,I would say,yes,I was saved at the age of 8 at a Vacation Bible School. I remained fairly active in church for many years after that. However,when I became a teenager,I started to doubt my salvation. There were several catalysts for this. One was that I never was discipled like I should have been. When I was 15,an evangelistic crusade came to town. The evangelist preached hell,fire and brimstone. I would describe the messages as covenant or reformed theology in relation to salvation,lordship salvationist,TULIP,5 point calvinism,calvinistic soteriology,etc. This experience fueled my doubts & many others too. There was a great deal of controversy after this crusade. Many pastors in town were upset. They felt like truly saved people had been frightened out of the assurance of their salvation. The main catalyst for my doubt however was the fact that as I entered my teenaged years,I realized that I had same sex attraction. I was like,”How can a true Christian have a homosexual orientation,bent,desire,attraction”? I knew that homosexuality was a sin. But I said yes to Jesus before I ever knew what homosexuality was. After high school,my life became a real mess. In & out of college,hopping from job to job,moving from place to place. At the age of 21,I started having occasional homosexual encounters with other men. I always felt guilty & regretted them when they were over,but the homosexual attraction remained. My views of homosexuality never changed. I still believed it was sin. That it was not God’s design. My views were the exact same as any conservative/fundamentalist Bible believing evangelical Christian. I just happened to struggle with this sin. More or less,I have remained in bondage to doubt much of my life. I have remained spiritually paralyzed as well. I am now 49 years old. I have never been married. I have no children. My same sex attraction remains,however,acting out on it has declined due to the aging process. As far as Exodus Intl goes & what Alan Chambers has said,I agree with SOME of what he is saying. My experience has been that there is no INSTANTANEOUS deliverance from same sex attraction,same sex orientation,same sex bent. Whatever you want to call it. God DOES have the power to instantly deliver you from this,but we often see & know that God CHOOSES not to do that. Why? Paul asked God over & over to deliver him from the “thorn in his side”. We dont know what that thorn was. Was it a particular sin? We dont know,but we know it must have been a real struggle for Paul. God would not do it. He said,”My grace is sufficient for you”. God wants us to go thru these trials,these struggles that we face in this life because it makes us stronger. It causes us to grow in faith. It makes us totally dependent on Him. It causes us to submit to His Lordship. God does not promise instant delivery from sin when we are born again. Some of the sins that you struggled with BEFORE you were saved,you may struggle with AFTER you are saved. That includes homosexuality. It is not a worse sin than any other sin. People have made it that without any scriptural proof. Its in the same list as lying,coveting,etc. These Christians that are running around saying that you cannot commit homosexual sin & be saved are wrong. The Bible does not indicate that there is any sin that it is not possible for a Christian to commit. David was a Christian when he committed adultery & had a man murdered. It is absolutely possible to be a true,born again child of God & struggle with homosexuality. The church has responded wrongly to many homosexuals. Spewing hatred,refusing to minister to them,telling them that they are definitely not saved,etc. Once you have same sex attraction,you may have it the rest of your life. God promises no instant or miraculous deliverances from anything. However,having said all of that,is homosexuality a sin? ABSOLUTELY! If you BELIEVE Gods Word,you cant come to any other conclusion. It is not a gray area up for debate. God clearly says that homosexuality is a sin. His Word is indisputable on the subject. Homosexuals need to be ministered to,shown love like any other person,but to affirm them to the point where they are being told that they can PURSUE,FEED & ENJOY their homosexual attractions is just plain wrong. They need to be told that it is sin. IN LOVE. That it is not Gods plan for their life. They need to move away from it & resist it. I am happiest when I have done that. Because the Spirit of God is testifying within me as to the truth about it. I have never had the desire to delve right into it & indulge in it with no restraint. GOD WILL NOT LET ME DO THAT. If any homosexual comes to me,I am going to say,I love you & I accept you as a person. I will not refuse to minister to you. But I love you enough to tell you that homosexuality is sin & that it is not Gods plan for your life. Lets work thru this together & seek God. Gay marriage is not the answer. God is not going to bless a union like that. Male and female He made them. One man and one woman in matrimony is Gods ONLY plan. If not that,then celibate singleness. So what about the Westboro Baptist Church style Christians who refuse to minister to homosexuals who are searching for the Lord,spew hatred,declare hell/fire/brimstone on homosexuals,declare that you are not saved because you happen struggle with that sin,react with revulsion & are repulsed vs. the affirming crowd that says,you can pursue your homosexuality,you can marry a member of the same sex,you can proudly identify as gay,same sex sex is ok as long as it is monogamous,homosexuality is not really sin,etc. THEY ARE BOTH WRONG. Both extremes are wrong. The balance is found in the middle of those 2 extremes.

      • So well said Chris. We know we WILL be persecuted for our faith. I can’t help but think that the Apostle Paul accurately predicted, “The time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine, instead to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” You spoke truth in love!
        Alan, I did read Leslie & your latest book which is what brought me to this website, I wrote an email in response to your book, when I sent the email, it came back that the address was incorrect. I used the email in the back of your new book? Then I looked you up on line, found this & tried to send it with this email, came back again, same thing??? Now after reading the above, & watching a little of a message you were giving at a church, I really have more questions for you. I still would like to send the email I spent a lot of thought & time writing.
        One thing that I keep thinking about is how much you talk about “grace”. In both your new book and in here. You say the word as if it’s a new revelation, a new direction your headed in. My question that I keep wondering is, How are you defining grace? It is my perception from you that you are saying it as if someone who follows Jesus teachings regarding homosexuality doesn’t understand grace , and now that you have chosen to go with the worlds popular vote that you now live a life of grace???? I don’t know what your thinking as a christ follower was before as far as grace was concerned? You seriously had me looking up the definition as if their was some new definition for grace. I did find one that came straight out of the bible that was worth repeating, Christian’s live every day by the grace of God. We receive forgiveness according to the richness of God’s grace, grace drives out sanctification. Paul tells us, “The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self controlled, upright, and Godly lives.” Titus 2:11 True grace comes from God, and because of his grace to us, the desire of our hearts should be to extend grace to others. Again, I really am curious just exactly are you saying when you say, your all about grace now?
        Please, I am sorry if I have offended you in any way. I have had a lot of respect for you in the past after hearing you speak on the radio, which is why I even bought your book, however we’re in a time where many christian teachers are changing their views on homosexuality to fit in with the times, just as it was prophesied.

    • Chris, your words are probably the best I have ever read. Biblical truth, non compromising yet full of love. Thank you! I am sorry for the continued thorn in your flesh but I do know at the end we win! It will all be worth it when we are finally in the presence of Jesus!

    • Chris, I could not disagree with you more. God is a God of diversity. Using Geneses story of creation to INTERPRET that the only relationship God will bless is a wrong interpretation. Nowhere does God say it directly. It has to be INTERPRETED. But what does God say and do? A few verses later in Genesis God blesses a relationship with is not 1 + 1 and follows that up throughout the OT with blessing family relationships which do not adhere to the “one man one woman” model. So that is what God did. If you fully read what God said through Nathan to David about the Bathsheba incident, you will find that God said that He gave David his master’s wives (note the plural) among other things and that if David had wanted more (which included wives) then God would have given it to David. David at the time had multiple wives and concubines (lower level wives if you will) which totaled about 13. Clearly by God’s own statement the concept of One Man One Woman was not the only relationship model God would bless. Is it possible that God can also bless relationship models which are even more different? There is reasonable theological argument that the relationship between David and Jonathan was not as platonic as many would like to believe and that would mean that God blessed a gay relationship. Why do you think God when inspiring the scripture spent so much time on THAT relationship. God spends more time on that single relationship than He does on any other relationship description in the bible.

      Your own historical experience clearly indicates that you were created gay because being gay is not a choice but it is a fact of existence for many people. A fact that Exodus International apparently proved over and over again as it failed to “cure” people of their being LGBTQ etc. Do you really think anyone or any organization could “cure” or change a heterosexual of being heterosexual?

      Of course, I am probably wasting my time typing this but I am compelled to put a different perspective into this comment thread. I have seen God bless many gay couples. To put God into a narrow creative box is a human trying to limit an all powerful God to a frail human dimension and understanding.

      I believe that every person is a creation of God and because nature demonstrates that God loves creating diversity that LGBTQ people are a part of God’s creative diversity. I am bisexual and God has repeatedly blessed me and has convicted me that HE loves me just as He created me sexuality included.

      So are you right and I am wrong or vice versa? No! For you and the way you were created your belief is right for you because you apparently need it to be comfortable in your Christianity. For me, I need to be comfortable with God in all of His Creative diversity to be comfortable in my Christianity.

      Jesus said in Mathew when asked what the greatest commandment was that it was (in paraphrase) Love God! Love others! On this ALL the law is based. He also told the religious leaders that they had great knowledge and obedience to the “Law” but He scorned them because there was not LOVE in their heart.

      • John you are clearly leading with your isegesis. just because something is in the bible does not mean it is normative or sanctioned by God. you never see all through the Bible a marriage defined as anything but 1 man and 1 woman. it is obviously the norm and intention of God. Also it has been interpreted that way since the beginning and through the majority of Judaism and Christianity. obviously majority is not a conclusive argument but it suggests that your special interpretation or “re-interpretation” of marriage is clearly NOT what a larger majority of christians see in scripture. Scripture interprets scripture you can’t build a theology from isolating bible stories outside of the whole of scripture. stories in the bible are stories…they are not theological instruction. you can’t divorce bible stories from time, culture, tradition, and theological writing and laws. the natural laws and history and other biology also support the idea of one man, one woman for life. the best scenario for any family is a solid family unit with a mother and father who are commited under God for life.

    • Chris i could really relate to your testimony. I find that the american church had much bad application of the gospel. No one was modeling the christian life it was information only and we longed for deep love connections with real people face to face. so we pendulum swang back and forth with every wind of doctrine instead of being loved by other men up close and personal we stared at the back of peoples heads, heard a message and had no real mentors for how to live out the christian life in same gendered relationships. As americans embraced Mega church the bad emphasis on canned church only magnified. I find the most important christian experiences for me happen outside of what we call “church services” and in real vulnerable caring relationships. I feel like we need a new simplified biblical definition of church and what discipleship is. we will only see the problems increase as churches face continued pressure to keep funds rolling in by compromising the message and streamlining the process. relationships are dangerous, draining and risky. there is no way around learning to give truth and grace upclose and personal. this is what jesus and the disciples modeled and taught. whoever brought the “stage” to christianity really undermined the christian lifestyle. the model set was Jesus feeding and washing the feet of 12 men. althought that picture makes 90 percent of american christian men unformfortable. Homophobia is not fear of Gays it is fear of sameness. the real fear is men are afraid of intimacy with each other. society has made loving contact out to be embarassing, shameful, and “gay”. The stage stands in direct contrast to the bowl.