McRae Game founded Truth Ministry in 1999. The ministry started as an offshoot of Exodus International Ministries, the spearhead of a network of local ministries that sought to help those struggling with same sex attraction. Game re-branded his ministry Hope for Wholeness in 2013, but the goal of the ministry remained the same: Help believers struggling with same sex attraction to eliminate the attraction they felt was sinful and incongruent with their Christian faith. Now, Game says he is gay, and that the ministry he founded, which he believes dabbled in gay conversion therapy, is wrong.
“I believe ex-gay ministry is a lie. Conversion therapy is not just a lie, but it’s very harmful,” Game recently told The Post Courier in an interview.
McRae Game Saw Same Sex Attraction As a Sin
Game says when he started what became HFW, he believed the world and the gay community was lying about homosexuality. Now, he believes the “complete opposite.”
Game married Julie in 1996, and remains married to her, despite the fact that he is openly gay, and even uses a gay dating app. From the time Game met Julie in church more than 20 years ago, he was honest with her about his same sex attraction. At one point when he was leading Truth Ministry, he told her that his attractions were “worse than they ever were.” In the interview with the Post and Courier, he sits next to a picture from the couple’s wedding day. They have two children.
The board of Hope for Wholeness (HFW) fired Game in 2017. Two years later, Game publicly announced he is gay and apologized for his decades of work, which he believes promoted gay conversion therapy. While HFW has remained silent through Game’s recent announcement, the ministry is diligent to deny it offers gay conversion therapy (also known as reparative therapy). On their website (which hasn’t been updated in a number of years; Game’s Executive Director bio is still accessible), HFW describes same sex attraction and homosexuality as “a multi-causal developmental disorder and that an individual can experience transformation through the healing power of Jesus Christ.” Through encouraging individuals to rely on their relationship with Jesus Christ, the ministry is seeking to enable “growth towards Godly heterosexuality.”
But for Game, a “growth towards Godly heterosexuality” never happened. He says “I struggled more so trying to deny [my same sex attraction] than being able to accept my attractions and say ‘I’m a gay man.’” He summarizes: “I was a hot mess for 26 years and I have more peace now than I ever did.”
The Harm McRae Game Believes He Caused
The Post and Courier article highlights Game’s remorse over the harm he believes he perpetuated in the gay community. The video interview very briefly tells the story of one Cody Roemhild, an 18-year-old who sought help from HFW in 2015. Roemhild, whom Game describes as a “very sweet, very troubled guy,” spent a year with HFW. Game had given Roemhild a ride home from a HFW event the night he died by suicide, just days before Christmas in 2016.
The newspaper also mentioned steps Game has taken to try and understand the damage his ministry caused. Game was recently invited by a former HFW client to sit in on a counseling session. Game agreed to come, thinking the least he could do for this person was to listen and understand.
“I was a religious zealot that hurt people,” Game said. “People said they attempted suicide over me and the things I said to them. People, I know, are in therapy because of me. Why would I want that to continue?” In a Facebook post announcing his change of heart, Game explains:
Creating a catchy slogan that put out a very misleading idea of “Freedom from homosexuality through Jesus Christ” was definitely harmful. Promoting the triadic model that blamed parents and conversion or prayer therapy, that made many people believe that their orientation was wrong, bad, sinful, evil, and worse that they could change was absolutely harmful. People reported to attempt suicide because of me and these teachings and ideals. I told people they were going to Hell if they didn’t stop, and these were professing Christians! This was probably my worse [sic] wrongful act.
Despite his change of mind about the message that conversion therapy and ex-gay ministries promulgate, Game still believes HFW can do good in some cases. “The only positive and productive use for HFW and exgay ministry is for those that believe that homosexuality is incongruent with their faith, to receive and have a community of like minded people so that they can live healthy lives,” Game wrote in that same Facebook post.