Rev. Gene Hutter was born and raised in Phoenixville, PA, which was once a small steel town, 25 miles west of Philadelphia. Following high school, he was employed in various office positions doing accounting. He eventually attended Cabrini College in Radnor, PA, and earned a BA in Religious Studies and Journalism. Following a stint of teaching high school for a few years, he decided to enter seminary and pursue ordination to the priesthood. He attended SS. Cyril and Methodius Byzantine Catholic Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA, and was ordained a priest in 1988. He served as a priest for the Byzantine Catholic Church for 14 years. In the midst of his vocation as a priest, he wrestled with the fact that he was a gay man. And, for him, being gay and being a priest caused an inner turmoil. He took a leave from ministry. He was, eventually, deposed by the Catholic Church because he chose to live openly as a gay man and he was committed to living his life with another man. That man is Bill Burckhardt. They met in 1999 and have been together ever since. Upon discovering Metropolitan Community Church through SunCoast MCC, he felt the stirrings of that call to ministry that never left him after leaving the Catholic Church. In pursuing his call within MCC and fulfilling his requirements for ordination, he had the opportunity to receive a Certificate in Gender, Sexuality, and the Bible through Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, CA. He began his Internship at Church of the Trinity MCC, under the supervision of Rev. Charles Tigard, and finished his Internship under the supervision of Rev. Elder Dr. Candace Shultis. The preparation for MCC ministry made him realize what he had been missing for so many years. He was missing the freedom to be a gay man, and at the same time, to be able to minister to the people of God. Please pray for him as he seeks to fulfill God’s call.