Happy 76th birthday, Troy Perry (born July 27, 1940)! Founder of the Metropolitan Community Church, a Christian denomination for the LGBTQ community. Eldest son of the “biggest bootleggers in northern Florida,” Troy considered himself a “religious fanatic” and a born preacher from an early age. He was licensed as a Baptist minister at the age of 15, and at 19 he married a minister’s daughter named Pearl Pinion. They had two sons and spent many years moving around from one church to another, until one day Pearl found Troy’s copy of “The Homosexual in America” (by Donald Webster Cory) under the mattress. Their marriage ended soon after. His bishop directed him to confess his sexual sins from the pulpit, and resign. In 1968, after a suicide attempt, Troy felt a call to return to faith and start a church where gay people would be welcome. He placed an ad in The Advocate (at the time an L.A.-based gay newsletter), and on Oct. 6, 1968 twelve people showed up for the first service in his living room. By 1971 the congregation was able to dedicate their own building with over 1,000 members in attendance. Today MCC has over 300 congregations in 18 countries. In 1972 he published his autobiography “The Lord is My Shepherd and He Knows I’m Gay.”
~The Marginal Mennonite Society Heroes Series.

foto di Marginal Mennonite Society.
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