An Inclusive Fellowship of God’s People

At Gloria Dei, grace is not just a word for us—it’s an experience that defines our community. We celebrate the fact that we’re saved by grace not by rules.

We’re proud to be a Reconciling in Christ congregation that fully affirms and welcomes LGBTQ+ people.

Beliefs & Vision


As a Christian community of faith we strive to follow Jesus’ example and welcome all people. Our goal is to be an inclusive fellowship of God’s people, breaking down the barriers which so often divide us: age, race, ethnicity, language, gender, sexual orientation, class, wealth, physical and mental abilities.


We believe that God is a mystery . . . a mystery, like our own lives, to be experienced and celebrated rather than a puzzle to be solved. That’s why we honor questions as much as answers. Together, we seek to explore the mysteries of faith, of our lives, and of the world around us.


In Christ, we have been called to serve the whole human family. We care for members of our own congregation and support them however we can. We also respond to needs in our community, nation, and around the world through contributions of time, money, and in-kind gifts.


Our lives and our relationships are gifts from God to be enjoyed and celebrated. We gather in worship and times of fellowship to enjoy the presence of God within us, in the world around us, and in our relationships with one another.

All Are Welcome Here

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church is a RECONCILING IN CHRIST congregation. We welcome all people without regard to racial or ethnic distinction, family status, age, economic status, gender identity, sexual orientation, or differing abilities. We invite and encourage all people to participate fully in the life and work of our congregation.

We’re different…come visit us!



Doug Kings

Pastor Doug is a Midwesterner, born and raised in the Chicago area. He attended Ripon College in Wisconsin and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He enjoys reading and writing (his Reflections blog posts are occasionally published in our local Bradenton Herald) and tries to get to the gym most days. His favorite place to get away to is Santa Fe, New Mexico. He also enjoys laying on the beach, dabbling with paints, and spending time with his partner Joe and their two dogs, Emma and Lana.

I have been pastor of Gloria Dei since the fall of 2018. It’s a great place! Not only is it in a beautiful location but it is filled with beautiful people, some who live here but many who come from across the country and outside the country. I also love them for how open and welcoming they are to new people and ideas.

The church needs to be a place that celebrates, supports, learns, and grows. It can’t stand still! The world and our lives are constantly changing. While God is a mystery, God is not far off but closer to us than we are to ourselves, as Augustine said. The life of faith is not about memorizing answers but living and exploring with the Spirit the questions we all encounter in our lives. Sometimes that brings joy, other times doubt, and sometimes burdens that feel overwhelming but Gloria Dei is a community where all those things can be shared.

Well, that’s what we strive for, but we don’t always get it right or do our best, which is why we also are a community of forgiveness. The important thing to know is that, as with Jesus, no one is turned away. Whoever you are, and wherever you are on your life journey, you are welcome here. I hope to have the chance to meet you and welcome you soon!

Church Administrator

Tricia Murphy

Tricia joins Gloria Dei to replace Alice Longworth. “My feet may be bigger than Alice’s, but I am stepping into some very big shoes.” She hopes to live up to the wonderful job that Alice has done at Gloria Dei. Tricia’s work experience includes many years in an administrative role with several years at an executive level.


Elena Zamolodchikova

Elena studied piano at at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, and then came to the US where she earned her Masters from Julliard and Doctor of Musical Arts from SUNY Stonybrook. Most recently she was the organist/pianist at First Congregational Church in Westfield, CT. Elena moved to Florida to begin teaching piano at a music school in Tampa and is excited she will also be providing music at Gloria Dei. Make sure you listen after worship or watch online. You are in for a musical treat!