Protestors carried a sign saying, “Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual: We are Already in the Church. Let us be Open, Free” when the National Council of Churches denied observer status to Metropolitan Community Churches in November 1992 in Cleveland, Ohio. Pictured in the middle is Nancy Wilson of MCC. Photo by Kittredge Cherry.
Happy birthday to Metropolitan Community Churches! And thanks for 44 years ministering in the LGBT community. MCC was founded 44 years ago today on Oct. 6, 1968.
Photos from MCC history are posted today in honor of the occasion, and as a tribute to all queer people of faith who dare to believe that God loves us just as we are.
The photos here show highlights from my own ministry in MCC during the 1990s. I had the privilege of working closely with Rev. Troy Perry, the openly gay man who founded MCC. He was incredibly brave and visionary to create a church for queer people back in 1968, when homosexuality was still considered a sin, a sickness and a crime. He describes the founding and early years of MCC in the book Don't Be Afraid Anymore: The Story of Reverend Troy Perry and the Metropolitan Community Churches by Troy D. Perry and Thomas Swicegood.
I joined MCC in 1985 and became an ordained minister. I served as program director at MCC San Francisco. Then I joined the denominational headquarters in Los Angeles, where I handled ecumenical and public relations, working with Troy and Rev. Nancy Wilson, who currently heads MCC as moderator.
I try to post some of my historic MCC photos every year on MCC’s anniversary. This year I am sharing many of Nancy and me doing ecumenical ministry together. The photos capture just a few moments from those memorable times.
Howard Warren of Presbyterians for Lesbian and Gay Concerns. It looks like his sign says, “Gay, lesbian and bisexual by God’s design.” The banner on the wall says, “National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA.” Photo by Kittredge Cherry. RIP, Howard Warren, who died in 2003.
Jean White, Don Eastman and Freda Smith. My life partner Audrey stands beside me on the far right. RIP Jean White, who died in 2010.
See more of my MCC photos at these links:
Happy birthday, MCC and Desmond Tutu! (2011)
See LGBT history in photos (2010)
Happy 40th birthday, MCC! (2008)