‘Renewal of our minds’: Church features drag queen in kids’ sermon

By Art Moore

Pastor Andy OIiver, left, in a children's sermon Oct. 2, 2022, with drag queen "Ms. Penny Cost" at Allendale United Methodist Church in St. Petersburg, Florida (Video screenshot)
Pastor Andy OIiver, left, in a children’s sermon Oct. 2, 2022, with drag queen “Ms. Penny Cost” at Allendale United Methodist Church in St. Petersburg, Florida (Video screenshot)

During its children’s sermon, a United Methodist church in Florida featured a drag queen in a slit sequin dress who goes by “Ms. Penny Cost.”

Only two children came forward when the pastor, Andy Oliver, announced it was time for the children’s sermon Oct. 2 at Allendale United Methodist Church in St. Petersburg, reported the blog for the Institute on Religion and Democracy.

“We have a special guest,” Oliver told the children.

“Are you always dressed up like this?” the pastor asked.

“I wish!” replied the drag queen, Isaac Simmons, who is undergoing the process to become ordained in the United Methodist Church.

“I only get dressed up like this on special occasions,” Simmons said. “I kind of feel powerful when I put on a dress like this and a big wig and lots of makeup. It kind of helps me to say things that I don’t have the confidence to say outside of it.”

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The pastor, referencing Romans 12:2, told the children “one of the things I think is great about Ms. Penny Cost is she reminds us that we follow a God who calls us not to conform to things of this world.”

“That we’re supposed to be transformed by the renewal of our minds. That means what I think today may have to change tomorrow if I continue to renew my mind,” he continued.

“It’s so cool that we serve a God who calls us to continue to grow and continue to change into something new, and to not be bound by the ways that the world confines us sometimes. That we’re supposed live differently.”

The pastor asked the children if either of them had “a question for Ms. Penny Cost.”

“I like your eye shadow,” a girl said.

“Ohhh, thank you!” Simmons replied.

“You like her eye shadow, that’s great,” Oliver said. “Maybe she’ll let you borrow it.”

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