Paula Nielsen is a true pioneer. Born Larry Nielsen in 1938,  she transitioned identity on May 1, 1963 and has lived as a trans woman ever since. 

     In 1950 she became a born again Christian.  With this experience, she received a call from God to preach. 

     Throughout the 1960's, Paula was a patient of Harry Benjamin, MD.  Dr. Benjamin has been long recognized as an expert on sexology and a leader in transsexual treatment.  In 1966 he authored "The Transsexual Phenomenon".  To avoid arrest Paula carried a letter from Dr. Benjamin.   During this decade Paula sang in the choir, a tall girls' trio and a ladies' choralette in a prominent Foursquare church where they knew nothing about her transsexuality.  She also worked for a leading theatrical agency as secretary to the comptroller.

     During the 1970's Paula was the first church secretary for Metropolitan Community Church in Portland, Oregon, when she came out publicly as a trans woman.  In addition to assisting the pastor, Paula was editor of the church newsletter, and she participated in a student clergy program.   She became the Religion Editor for the NW Fountain, a Pacific Northwest gay community newspaper.  Continuing on throughout the 1980's, Paula wrote a column entitled 'Thoughts From Paula" for four different alternative lifestyle publications.

     In 1980 Paula became a feature attraction as a cabaret entertainer at the legendary DARCELLE XV where she was billed as "Portland's Own Red Hot Mama", performing her popular emulation of Sophie Tucker. 

     In December, 1987 Paula started the Sister Paula public access television program as an open trans woman preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

     Throughout the 1990's Sister Paula made guest appearances on national and international television programs.  She was a featured guest on PM Magazine, Jenny Jones, Joan Rivers, The Daily Show, and Strange Universe.  She also appeared on The Shirley Show, a Canadian national talk show.   The BBC featured Sister Paula on "Saturday Night Clive".  Fred Willard appeared with Sister Paula on two segments of her program as well as the national television program "Access America".  People magazine featured the evangelist in an article about public access television.  Feature articles about the renowned transgender preacher have appeared in many local newspapers.  Two "supermarket rags" also wrote about this unique person. 

     Sister Paula continues as a regular guest on the Sir Darryl internet Radio Experience, the most listened to program on the internet.

      Sister Paula's autobiography "The Trans Evangelist" is available.  Also the documentary “The Trans Evangelist” will be screening at film festivals in 2013. 


     Paula lives on a fixed income and receives no financial compensation from the ministry. You can send prayer requests to:



P.O. Box 2206

Portland, Oregon 97208

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