Rev. Dr. Katie Hays is the founder of Galileo Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) on the southeast margin of Fort Worth, Texas. Educated for traditional ministry at Yale and Princeton, and ordained 26 years ago, Katie spent two decades serving small congregations where “senior pastor” really means “solo pastor.” She left her last traditional church in 2013 to start Galileo, a next-church community of belonging that seeks and shelters spiritual refugees, especially LGBTQ+ people and the people who love them.
Galileo meets in a corrugated sheet metal barn tucked under I-20 where its nearest neighbors are a Crossfit gym and a metal galvanizing plant. With the support of a Louisville Institute grant, Katie recently published a memoir of Galileo’s first five years, We Were Spiritual Refugees: A Story to Help You Believe in Church (Eerdmans 2020), in which she pledges to tell the truth about how hard and how beautiful it’s been. “It’s all in there: the good, the bad, and a couple of well-placed f-bombs,” she says. Find more about that at katiehays.net.
Katie lives with her spouse, Prof. Lance Pape, Associate Professor of Homiletics at Brite Divinity School, on a multi-house homestead with two collegiate kids and two retired in-laws across opposite pastures.