Mission:
To help the conservative Christian church love LGBT people generously

 

Walls Down is not primarily an outreach to the gay community directly, but rather a ministry that equips the church to reach out in their daily lives to the LGBT people they already have relationships with.  The heart for this ministry came out of a specific time with the Lord in Sept. 2012 where God seemed to give me His perspective on what was happening in our culture regarding sexuality, and how the cultural war on the issue of homosexuality, only continued to add more bricks to the wall between the Christian and LGBT communities. Opportunities for Christians to reach gay people were turned into standoffs and instead of extending invitations to know Christ, everyone reached for a sword.  The result was that neither community trusted the other, making it very difficult when Christians tried to tell LGBT people that they can trust God with their lives and look to Him for life giving ways of sexuality and gender expression. 

So the heart of Walls Down is to help the Christian Church keep their focus on Christ’s invitation of abundant life, rather than winning a culture war, political debate, or trying to just change a person’s orientation.  God is still good and Christ is worth following regardless if any of those things ever happen or not. 

 
 

The Walls Down Team

  

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Ty Wyss
Executive Director

Ty has received his bachelors in psychology from Liberty University and his masters in mental health counseling from Indiana Wesleyan University. He has been in ministry with the local church since 2005 and has received his credentials in ministry through the Assemblies of God. Ty was formerly a student and staff member on a masters commission team in Evansville, IN for 5 years, and an overseer and counseling pastor in Carmel, IN for 6 years. Ty is currently a pastoral counselor at East 91st. Street Counseling Ministry in Indianapolis. He has been married to his wife Rachel for 10 years and is the father to 3 boys - Samuel Beckett, the late Ezra Burke, & Asa Brennan.

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Liz Munson
Support Staff

Liz graduated in 2007 with a degree in Sociology with an emphasis on Social Work from Butler University. She spent 7 years at home raising her kids and then worked for 2 years on staff at their school. She is currently nannying part time for 2 littles. She started her journey of healing and understanding God's place for her about 8 years ago and has led various ministries since then to help others better understand sexual and relational wholeness.

Liz enjoys reading, cooking, going on adventures with her family, and grocery shopping by herself. She and her husband, Aaron, recently celebrated their 12th anniversary and have 2 cute kids: Ben and Libby, 1 dog: Roxie, and 1 guinea pig: Blaze.

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Heather Schmiedicke
Board Member

Heather felt called to bridge the gap between the conservative church and the LGBT community in 2012 when a beloved gay friend asked if her church was LGBT friendly and she instantly regretted her flippant response to his question. Since then, she has been doing incarnational ministry work with LGBT people in her own life, while helping lead her church to better postures towards LGBT folks. Heather serves on the Steering Team at Vineyard Life Church Brownsburg and volunteers with LOVEboldly, an organization that seeks reconciliation and healing in the center of the tension found in conversations about faith and sexuality. This gardener, wakeboarder, Ace Hardware associate, school-library-book-doctor, tree-hugging chicken lady lives in Brownsburg, Indiana with her husband Jamie and their 2 baseball-playing sons, Kade and Carson.

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Aaron Munson
Support Staff

Aaron graduated from Butler University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education. He went back to Butler to obtain his Master's Degree in School Counseling in 2009. Recently, he completed the coursework to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), and will soon take his licensure exam. Aaron has worked in the school setting for 13 years, and is currently employed as a school counselor. Aaron has led various ministries at his church in Indianapolis on maintaining healthy relationships and healthy sexuality. Aaron and his wife, Liz, have been happily married for over 12 years. They live in Indianapolis, and love being the parents of Ben and Libby.

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Heather Skriba
Support Staff

Heather studied psychology as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan and was involved in campus ministry. When she graduated in 2016, she entered the professional world in mortgage servicing. During that time, her own story of gender and faith unfolded, and as a result, she felt called to begin stepping into ministry to offer her experiences to educate, guide, and empower those wrestling through questions of faith, gender, and sexuality. While living in southeast Michigan, she spoke at churches to help stir compassion towards the LGBT community. In her free time, Heather loves running, cycling, and playing music. She comes alive enjoying the outdoors, having thought-provoking conversations, and drinking coffee.

 

Statement of Faith

The Scriptures Inspired

The Bible is the inspired Word of God, a revelation from God to men, the infallible rule of faith and conduct, and superior to conscience and reason, but not contrary to reason (2 Tim. 3:15-17; 1 Pet. 1:23-25; Heb. 4:12).

The One True God

The one true God has revealed Himself as the eternally self-existent, self-revealed “I AM,” and has further revealed Himself as embodying the principles of relationship and association, by simultaneously existing as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Deut. 6:4; Mark 12:29; Isa. 43:10, 11; Matt. 28:19).

Man’s Fall and Redemption

Man was created good and upright, for God said, “Let us make man in our image and after our likeness.” Man, by voluntary transgression, fell, and his only hope of redemption is in Jesus Christ, the Son of God (Gen. 1:26-31; Gen. 3:17; Rom. 5:12-21).

The Salvation of Man

The Grace of God, which brings salvation, has appeared to all men, through the preaching of repentance toward God and through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; man is saved by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, and being justified by grace, has become heir of God according to the hope of eternal life (Titus 2:11; 3:5-7; Rom. 10:13-15; Luke 24:47).

Evidences of Salvation

The inward evidence to the believer of his salvation is the direct witness of the Spirit (Rom. 8:16). The outward evidence to all men is a life of holiness (1 Thess. 4:7, 2 Tim.1:9).

The Promise of the Father

All believers should ardently expect and earnestly seek the Promise of the Father, which is the baptism in the Holy Spirit. With it comes the infilling of power for life and service, and the bestowment of the gifts and their uses in the work of the ministry (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-8; 1 Cor. 12:1-31). This experience may be distinct from and subsequent to the experience of the New Birth (Acts 2:38; 10:44-46; 11:14-16; 15:7-9).

Sanctification Process

By the power of the Holy Spirit we strive to obey the command, “Be ye holy, for I am holy.” Sanctification is the will of God for all believers, and should be earnestly pursued by walking in obedience to God’s Word (Heb. 12:14; 1 Pet. 1:15, 16; 1 Thess. 5:23, 24; 1 John 2:6).

The Church

The church is the holy Body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of her great commission. Each believer is an integral part of the church, and their names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. (I Thess. 2:4)

Ministry

Divinely called and Scripturally ordained ministry has been provided by our Lord for a two-fold purpose: (1) The evangelization of the world, and (2) The edification of the Body of Christ (Mark 16:15, 20; Eph. 4:11-13).

Marriage

God created marriage. It is a covenant made between a man and a woman that makes them one (Gen 2: 22,24; Matt 19: 5-6).

Divine Healing

Deliverance from sickness is provided for in the atonement of Christ and is the privilege of all believers (Isa. 53:4, 5; Matt. 8:16, 17; Mark 16:18; John 5:14).

The Blessed Hope

The resurrection of those who have fallen asleep in Christ and their translation, together with those who are alive and remain unto the Lord, is imminent and is the blessed hope of the church (1 Thess. 4:16; Rom. 6:23; Titus 2:13; 1 Cor. 15:51,52).

The Millennial Reign of Jesus

The revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ from heaven, the salvation of national Israel, and the millennial reign of Christ on the earth are Scriptural promises and our hope (2 Thess. 1:7; Rev. 19:1l-16; Rom. 11:25; Rev. 20:l-7).

The Lake of Fire

The devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, and whosoever is not found written in the Lamb’s Book of Life shall be consigned to everlasting punishment in the lake which burns fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Rev. 19:20; 20:10-15).

The New Heavens and New Earth

We, as promised in the Scriptures, look for a new heavens and a new earth wherein righteousness dwells (2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21: l).

Baptism in Water

The ordinance of baptism by burial with Christ should be observed (as commanded in the Scriptures) by all that have repented of their sins and in their hearts have believed on Christ as their Savior and Lord. In doing so, they declare to the world that they have died with Christ and that they have also been released to walk with Him in newness of life (Matt. 28:19; Rom. 6:4).

The Lord’s Supper (Communion)

The Lord’s Supper, consisting of the elements, bread and fruit of the vine, is the symbol expressing our sharing in a memorial to His suffering and death, and a prophecy of His second coming, and is enjoined to all believers “until He comes” (John 6:48,51,53-57; Luke 22:19,20; 2 Pet. 1:4; 1 Cor. 11:25).

FAQ

IS THIS AN EX-GAY MINISTRY?


No, the common understanding of an "ex-gay" ministry, is one that focuses on helping homosexual people become heterosexual. That is not what Walls Down does or claims to do. Why? - because focusing on orientation change misses the point of God's intent and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. People who are straight are just as separated from God as gay people. It's being reconciled to God through Christ that matters. Historically, the church has focused on trying to change one's orientation and has used that as a measuring stick for spirituality and salvation for LGBT people. This has been damaging for some that have thought (and have been told that) the only way they can experience God's best for them is for their orientation to change. So Walls Down does not try to change people's orientation, but rather encourages gay people to surrender their lives (including their sexuality) to Jesus. 

 

WHEN IS A CHURCH EQUIPPED?

A church is equipped to reach out when they are willing to have a conversation regarding sexuality that is not discussed in an "us versus them" mentality. A church must recognize that everyone's sexuality has been touched by the fall of man and that whether someone sins heterosexually or homosexually, the answer is Jesus and the redemption of our sexuality through his blood. Through my testimony and life experiences, the Holy Spirit really helps me communicate that the issue of homosexuality does not require a separate approach or different gospel. I believe this allows people to think about homosexuality differently and see LGBT people as fallen people in need of Jesus. 

WHAT DOES SUCCESS FOR WALLS DOWN LOOK LIKE?


Success for Walls Down would involve helping churches to become more comfortable and competent in talking about sexuality and gender identity concerns so that those that are already in our churches do not struggle with these things on their own and in shame. All people in our churches should have a safe place to struggle well in community. 

It would involve the church at large having a burden to see LGBT people reached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and being unsatisfied with how the church has not cared to make this a priority in generations past. 

Success would also include Christians being more competent to engage in friendships and deeper relationships with their gay family members, co-workers, and acquaintances. Some of the best testimonies are ones where parents and family members took the pressure off of themselves to "change" their gay loved one and allowed the Holy Spirit to do the work He wanted in the entire family. 

It would involve congregations that expect LGBT people to walk through the doors of their church and to not overreact to the gay couple/family that is interested in getting to know Jesus more. I believe most Christians would be "shell-shocked" if this happened and would send a clear message to LGBT people that says, "You're not welcome here". We should want all people, regardless of lifestyle, to feel comfortable enough to stay and experience the presence of their Creator.