Imagery of church-related people and places.

Rev. Michael D. Oakley

Ministry setting

I am on the ELCA NE Ohio Synod Roster, Minister of Word and Sacrament, Retired.

I preside and preach when invited. See

I am the Assistant Manager (part time) of the Marketplace (food pantry) of the Madisonville Education and Assistance Center.

I am the Event Host (part time) at First English ELCA, downtown Cincinnati.

I am the Democratic Precinct Executive (part time) for Columbia Township Precinct E, Hamilton County OH.

What brings you joy in your ministry?

Leading worship, helping individuals and groups see God's love and their possibilities.

Who inspires you in ministry or seminary?

All of my colleagues who keep at it even as the church continues to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic.

What are your interests outside of ministry?

I like to hike and explore in parks and museums. I love to spend time with family. I am a member of the Cincinnati Men's Chorus.

Best meal you've ever eaten?

At a restaurant on the ocean with my soon-to-be-partner, January 2017.

Brief bio

I grew up in suburban Cincinnati. I graduated from Texas Lutheran College in 1975 and married the woman I loved that year. I graduated from Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus OH, in 1979. I have served ALC and ELCA Congregations in Wisconsin and NE Ohio. I have two adult children and three grandchildren. I divorced in 2002. I complied with ELCA V&E through October 2016. I decided to be a better LGBTQ+ Ally after the Orlando Massacre. I have been coming out since August 2016. After a lifetime of hiding, being authentically me, being who God created me to be has been frightening and wonderful. Then God did a miracle and I fell in love again. I have been in loving partnership with Dave since November of 2016. In September 2017, in order to live with Dave in Cincinnati, I retired from my Cleveland area congregation of fourteen years.

Did you always want to be clergy?

Maybe. I thought it was a possibility throughout my college years but hoped to join the US Foreign Service. In 1975, the foreign service was downsized and entry made even more restrictive while the number of baby boomer applicants swelled. So, seminary was the choice.

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