Falling Out of Grace and Into Fabulous … We Hope

Rev. Matthew Makela has served as the Associate Pastor at St. John's since July 2010.  He grew up in Green Bay, WI, literally in the shadows of Lambeau Field.  Pastor Makela was blessed to attend Lutheran schools from preschool through seminary.  He attended Pilgrim Lutheran School, Northeastern Wisconsin Lutheran High School, Concordia University Wisconsin, and Concordia Theological Seminary.  He graduated from Concordia University Wisconsin in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Pastoral Ministry and Theological Languages.  Pastor Makela graduated in 2010 with a Master of Divinity degree from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, IN.  Pastor and his wife Cassie are blessed with three daughters and two sons.  Outside of church duties, Psator enjoys family, music, home improvement, gardening and landscaping, and sports.

Oh, dear God, not again.

Until 2 p.m. on Monday, the ‘Our Church Staff’ section of St. John’s Lutheran Church and School’s website described Reverend Matthew Makela as an associate pastor who enjoys, “family, music, home improvement, gardening and landscaping, and sports.”

Screenshots obtained by Queerty from a source who asked that his name be withheld shed light on some of the Reverend’s other favorite past times — namely nude make out sessions and sex with other men.

In addition to Dan Tracer’s scoop for Queerty, Gabrielle Bluestone follows up for Gawker, and Simon McCormack brings an overview for Huffington Post.

And in truth, no, not again. That is to say, look, this happens, and we know it happens, and we know a bit about approximately why it happens. However, we do need to pause for a moment in order to consider how St. John’s Lutheran Church responded:

To make matters worse, though, the details of sin that have been kept confidential are being posted online by those who seek to do harm to the Makela family and to St. John’s. This is taking an already difficult situation and making it even more painful.

(via Gawker)

There are plenty of things we might grieve on behalf of the fallen pastor, but no, you do not get to make this appeal. When you get caught advertising for gay dates on Grindr, you have pretty much given up any claim to confidentiality.

Really, it’s that simple. He solicited gay dates on a well-known website; any claim to confidential matters seems inherently suspect.

Still, though, the rest of us might simply note that St. John’s seems more concerned that members of the congregation might hear news and other discussion about Pastor Makela’s fall from grace:

I write this to you to warn you that you may be confronted with the details of the sin, and to remind you that sin is never pretty. The facebook pages associated with St. John’s have been taken down in an attempt to remove the opportunity for malicious posters to have access to St. John’s members, but the internet and age of communication being what it is, I have no way of guaranteeing that you will not come across this information in some way.

When you are a church who employs an open bigot as a pastor, you do not get to complain about malicious internet posters pointing out hypocrisy. That is to say, when you are a malicious church, the malice you receive when you fuck up by being the very thing you preach hatred against is your own damnably bitter harvest.Lebanon's mourning: Lebanon weeps for his late wife, Michiru, and his son's grief. (Detail of frame from Darker Than Black: Gemini of the Meteor, episode 5, "Gunsmoke Blows, Life Flows...")

Our best wishes, in this difficult time, to Mr. Makela and his family. Someday, sir, I hope you can tell us all what, exactly, you were thinking.

Get well. Be well. And remember, please: Just deal with the fact that you’re gay. There is a community waiting for the chance to welcome you into the sunlight; they’ll even reach out a hand. Your best amends for past hatred will be the genuine good you do; ritual apologies speak far less than observable goodness and kindness. And we all look forward to seeing your fabulosity shine.


Tracer, Dan. “Grindr Screenshots Reveal Antigay Pastor Is A Top Who Likes To Cuddle”. Queerty. 19 May 2015.

Bluestone, Gabrielle. “Antigay Pastor Seems Pretty Into Gay Sex, Judging By His Grindr Profile”. Gawker. 19 May 2015.

McCormack, Simon. “Church Responds To Anti-Gay Reverend Being Outed On Gay Dating App”. The Huffington Post. 20 May 2015.

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