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Debbie Griffin (she/her)

Downtown Disciples began as a dream of our Senior Minister, Debbie Griffin. In January of 2015, she began wondering what an unapologetically progressive Christian community in Downtown Des Moines could look like.


She shared this dream with the Upper Midwest Region of the Disciples of Christ and together, they created safe, LGBTQ+ affirming spaces for people to grapple with difficult questions of faith and social justice. Downtown Disciples grew organically from these spaces, nurtured by conversations about books like Saving Jesus from the Church and the gifts and talents of our community members.

Debbie is passionate about following the subversive Jesus. She feels the Spirit calling the Church to reclaim Christianity as an inclusive community of Disciples. Her dream for Downtown Disciples is also her dream for our global Church: she believes we are called to be a community embodying Jesus' radical love and following him into challenging, justice-making ministry.

Debbie received her Master of Divinity at St. Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Missouri and has served Presbyterian and Disciples of Christ congregations in Iowa and Missouri.

When she’s not ministering to our community or participating in acts of social justice and mercy in the Des Moines community, Debbie can be found dancing with her husband, walking their two dogs, hiking, biking, and spending time with her four adult children.


Debbie says “It is my joy and blessing to be the pastor of Downtown Disciples. Doing justice, loving kindness and walking humbly with the incredibly amazing people who make up our community is a dream come true.”

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