Rev. Rafe A. Ellis
Rev. Rafe A. Ellis is the new Senior Minister and Spiritual Leader of Columbia Center for Spiritual Living as of March 1, 2023. He is an Ordained Minister of Centers for Spiritual Living (CSL). Rev. Rafe brings 63 years of lived intersectionality having been born as a female-to-male (FTM) transgender person, raised as a cisgender female, lived as lesbian for more than 20 years of his adulthood until coming full circle undergoing his FTM gender alignment process at the age of 43. He now lives his authentic self as an open, out and highly visible FTM transgender man.
Rev. Rafe holds a B.A. in Social Work and Psychology from Warren Wilson College, an MBA-OD from American InterContinental University, an MA in Consciousness Studies from Holmes Institute and a Certificate of Ministerial Education from the Centers for Spiritual Living School of Spiritual Leadership. His ministry is enhanced by his professional experiences as a Social Worker, Fire Fighter, Emergency Medical Technician, Deputy Sheriff, business owner and lapidary artist; and his 40 years of recovery from heroin addiction and alcoholism.
Rev. Rafe is a life-long spiritually motivated social activist. He has served as a security lead for Rhythm Fest, Southern Womyn’s Music and Comedy Festival, and the 1993 March on Washington for LGBTQ Rights and has served on the PFLAG Speakers Bureau in numerous states. He was an active member of Interfaith Nevada County and has recently spoken at several Black Lives Matter events, as well as facilitating a Memorial Service honoring the lives of Nevada County residents lost to COVID (8’ 2018 thru 2’ 2023) and is already connected with the Howard County Clergy Alliance.
Rev. Rafe has been an active member of the Centers for Spiritual Living (CSL) since 2003. He has served as a Licensed Practitioner since 2008 and as a Licensed Minister since 2017. He has served the CSL organization as a member and Chair of the CSL Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Commission, a member of the CSL Nominating Council, a member of the CSL Lifelong Learning Steering Team, and a member of the CSL Events Committee. He has facilitated workshops at the CSL Annual Convention, CSL Minister’s Gathering, and was a General Sessions Speaker at the Asilomar SOAR Retreat in 2019.
Rev. Rafe is one the most compassionate people you’ll ever meet. His life experiences have been broad and often dramatic having navigated abject poverty, multiple forms of abuse, gang violence and addiction. He has done the internal work of forgiveness and now treasures every messy moment as essential to his authentic Self and the Wholeness of Life. He is an inspirational speaker, a gifted counselor, a master teacher and lifelong spiritually motivated social justice activist.
As Rev. Dr. Deborah L. Johnson, the founding minister and president of Inner Light Ministries and an Instructor at the Holmes Institute said:
“Rev. Rafe is one of the most promising ministerial students I have ever had. He is truly someone with a call on his life. His wisdom is profound, his heart an open embrace and his words cut straight to the chase. He is a true ally in the world of healing and transformation in his uncompromising stand for Oneness. I expect great things out of his career.”
Rev. Dr. Nadene Rogers
We would like to acknowledge in great gratitude Rev. Dr. Nadene Rogers for her service to this community as the Interim Minister from February 1, 2021 – October 31, 2022.
Dr. Nadene is passionate about “playing outside the walls of conformity, raising public awareness of both the Science of Mind teaching and the value of inclusion.” She has developed and hosted an international radio show and continues to forge collaborations to establish projects such as: The Shoe-In: NEW shoes for at-risk youth, and the Teens of Distinction Awards for inner achievement. Something most folks would not know about Dr. Nadene is that she was a professional clown for 20 years and opened the first Clown School in Canada! Dr. Nadene is known as a creative visionary and courageous pioneer with a deeply intuitive and compassionate heart.