Alumni/ae Council

Darnell Fennell (MDiv ’04)

United Church of Christ & Disciples of Christ; Houston, Texas

Rev. D. Darnell Fennell was born the youngest son of three children on December 7,1987, to the proud parentage of Jeannie and Russell Fennell. He received his early education in his native hometown, Houston, Texas, and was graduated from Elsik High School in 2006. Darnell then attended the University of Houston, receiving a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Religious Studies. While at, the University of Houston he had a theological crisis of faith with his Baptist tradition and his queer identity. Post undergrad he would journey to Berkeley, California as a Fund for Theological Education fellow to explore a progressive theological education. He earned a Masters of Divinity(M.Div.) degree from Pacific School of Religion in 2014, and the Paul Wesley Preaching award. In August 2014, he was ordained as a minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) with standing in the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries and The United Church of Christ. Rev. Fennell is a new church planter in Houston Texas. He returned to Houston in 2014to start a Just Love a Disciples of Christ and United Church of Christ new church plant.Just Love is faith community created by those who have marginalized by church and society, working together for wholeness for all people rooted in a theological ethic of living out a Just Love. Just Love is the only open and affirming Disciples of Christ congregation in the Houston area. From 2017- 2018, in addition to pastoring Just Love,he served as the transitional pastor of University Christian Church a historically black church in Houston. His calling made him the first openly gay pastor to serve this congregation. Darnell also serves as the Chair of Reconciliation for the Coastal Plains Area and on the Disciples Alliance leadership council, the alliance is movement within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) working to set a place at the table for persons of all gender expressions and sexual orientations.