A native of Minneapolis, David grew up the son of a Lutheran minister. Church was the center of much of his life. But his growing up years were filled with pain over his emerging sexuality. He spent those years desperately praying for God to “cure” him of his feelings, to make him “normal.”
Of this time in his life he writes: “As those prayers continued to go unanswered, my despair grew. However, when I awoke on my 23rd birthday, my prayer spontaneously changed. ‘God,’ I prayed, ‘I have spent my life assuming that I knew what you wanted for me, and for that, I have prayed desperately. But I don’t pretend to know anything anymore. I surrender. I don’t care what you do, but do something, anything, because I can’t continue to live like this.’ That began a deeply prayer-filled and Spirit-led period of my life, resulting in my coming out as a gay man, certain of God’s love for me, and certain that I didn’t need to be cured of anything!”
David has devoted much of his life since to helping prevent queer kids from having to grow up in the church with the kind of pain, isolation, shame, and despair that he endured.
Since 2006 David has served as Faith Work Coordinator for the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force’s Institute for Welcoming Resources, which works to help the Church become a truly welcoming place for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, races, classes, and abilities. He has served as Minister of Music for Living Table United Church of Christ in Minneapolis since 2001.
David has spent much of his musical career as a musical theatre conductor and pianist, including over 3 years as associate conductor for the first national company of The Phantom of the Opera. A published arranger, his arrangements include “Shenandoah/They Call the Wind Maria” and “O, Holy Night,” written for TV specials starring figure skater Brian Boitano. He holds a B.A. in acting, and did his graduate work in conducting at Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music.