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Marcus Mitchell

Compiled and edited by Thomas Coy from the book God’s Grace and the Homosexual Next Door by Alan Chambers and the Leadership Team at Exodus International. Marcus’ actual testimony in the book is used by permission from Harvest House Publishers.


Family Status:
Marcus married Sara in October of 1998. They have one daughter.

General Information as of 2010:

Marcus and his wife minister together in the Sacramento, California area to those struggling with homosexuality. They minister through their home church – Bayside of South Sacramento.

Personal Testimony:

Marcus’ testimony from God’s Grace and the Homosexual Next Door was edited to fit the format of the Ex-gay Encyclopedia.

“I was raised in a Christian home primarily by my mother. I had significant problems bonding with my father. My dad was a sportsaholic, and I wasn’t very good at sports – but it wasn’t for lack of trying. I played Little League baseball for three years and hated every minute of it. I was, however, good at the arts and music. Unfortunately, my dad would not have any part of that. He never supported any of the activities I was involved in, yet seemed to find time to go to my next-door neighbor’s and my best friend’s football games.”

“At school I was teased incessantly by all of the boys. I was called “sissy” and “fag” on a regular basis. … Not only did my peers ridicule me, but my father began telling my mother that I was a “punk.” Thank God that at the age of nine I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior! I loved the Lord, and at the age of ten I preached my first sermon in children’s church.”

“However, we began attending a new church that had started in the area. The pastor was single and was very interested in my mother, who was by then a single mom. It later came out that this pastor was really attempting to gain access to me. Eventually he did, and for a year and a half he molested me. I was terrified and could not even think of telling my mother … The pastor moved on to some other city, but the damage was done. I never spoke a word of this to anyone until I was 25 years old. I was tormented by this abuse throughout my childhood years.”

“By the time I was 16, I was deep into homosexual pornography and habitual masturbation. I was still trying to resist my feelings because I knew homosexuality was an abomination to God. I had my first voluntary sexual experience with a man at the age of 17. The fire was ignited, but I still tried to fight. At the age of 19, I gave up and chose to fully embrace the homosexual lifestyle. I felt so free! Finally men accepted me. Little did I know that these feelings of freedom would eventually turn into ones of bondage. I acted out in every way imaginable. Still, deep down inside, I believed that what I was doing was wrong. I medicated my wounds and loneliness with alcohol, drugs, and sex. … I never thought change was possible because I believed I had committed the unforgivable sin of homosexuality.”

“In 1995, I finally hit rock bottom. I had everything: my own home, a great career, and a nice car. However, one thing still escaped me: a long-term relationship with a man. I know now that I was really craving an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ and the male affirmation I failed to receive from my father. I was miserable, so I figured there must be something wrong with me.”

“I met a true friend and mighty woman of God. Rita told me that the Lord said I was her “project.” She knew I was homosexual, but she kept insisting that God loved me and wanted to forgive me. I told her that was impossible because I had committed the abomination of homosexuality, an unforgivable sin. … She knew nothing about an ex-gay movement, but she knew Jesus and His power to heal and forgive.”

“From there I got connected with a local church and began to renew and recultivate my relationship with the Lord. He, through His Word and prayer, walked me out of homosexuality. I knew nothing about Exodus or any other ex-gay ministry, but Jesus spoke to me and gently helped me mature in Him. I began to experience joy and peace like never before. I was so overjoyed to be in a right relationship with Him! At that time I believed I was called to remain single. I was sold out and on fire for God …. But He wasn’t finished yet.”

“On April 12, 1997, I met a wonderful woman from my church at a friend’s house. … For the first three weeks of our relationship, I didn’t know she was interested in me in “that” way. When I found out through my friend, I was ready to run for the hills! I felt I had way too much baggage for this woman, but the Lord spoke quietly to me and said, “Stand still. I am trying to bless you. Don’t move forward; don’t run; just stand still.””

“Somehow I was able to stand still even though I was terrified and shaking in my boots. Our friendship blossomed into a beautiful, godly relationship. … We married on October 24, 1998. That day was one of the best days of my life. And I remember the joy on my mother’s face.”

“I thank God for the faithful prayers of my mother, Othell Mitchell … She never gave up on me and stayed on her face before the Lord for my salvation. She never rejected me. My relationship with my father has grown by leaps and bounds, and on my wedding day he told me how proud he was of me.”
Today I am a heterosexual man and a child of God who is married to a godly woman. My marriage is not a badge of healing but evidence of God’s continued healing work in my life.”

Factors of Homosexual Causation:
Marcus never connected and identified with his father in early childhood. His masculine identity was not nurtured by his father and Marcus felt rejected by his father. Marcus was easy game for a pedophile or pederast because of his longing for male attention, and the sexual molestation by a trusted pastor distanced him further from a normal heterosexual identity. Homosexual pornography coupled with masturbation furthered the homosexual element in his developing sexual identity by creating more homosexual images and patterns in his brain.

Motivation to Change:
Marcus accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior at an early age and believed that homosexual behavior was an abomination to God. Even when he was fully committed to the gay life, deep inside he believed he was engaged in sexually immoral behavior. Long lasting sexual relationships in the male homosexual world are the exception to the rule and Marcus had failed to achieve a long-term relationship. He did not realize it until later that the underlying male relationship he craved was not for a sexual partner, but for the male affirmation and bonding he did not receive from his father. He was miserable in his gay lifestyle.

Personal Change Process:
A “mighty woman of God” took Marcus on as her “project.” Through compassion and diligence this woman helped Marcus “know and understand that forgiveness and change were possible.” Marcus then took the initiative to connect with a local church and proceeded to renew his relationship with his Lord and Savior. Through the teachings in the Bible and prayer Marcus’ relationship with God walked him out of homosexuality. Marcus was able to cultivate healthy male relationships at his church that affirmed his maleness and he was then fortunate to build an affirming relationship with his father.

The heterosexual attractions to his wife came unexpectingly to Marcus, but he welcomed them even though they terrified him. He felt God telling him to “stand still … Don’t move forward; don’t run; just stand still.” He followed God’s leading, which took significant courage, but lead to a blessing. His marriage to a godly woman who respects him, encourages him, and affirms his maleness, has completed his heterosexual identity and been a source of great joy and blessings.