Kim Byham, long-time Integrity (Episcopal) leader, was born in 1948 in
Parkersburg, West Virginia, where he grew up as an active member of Trinity
Episcopal Church. After college (Marietta College) and law school (New York
University School of Law), Kim began practicing law in New York City and at age
23 was elected to his parish's vestry.
That same year Kim was married and from that ten-year marriage has come two
children and two granddaughters. Kim was active in his profession and in the
Episcopal Church, both at the parish and diocesan levels.
In 1978, Kim began finally coming to grips with his sexuality and by 1981 his
marriage had ended and he started a new life. Due to the Spirit, however, his
involvement with the Episcopal Church remained constant and he became a member
of a predominately African-American and Afro-Caribbean parish in Manhattan,
which he served as Vestry member and Warden.
In 1981, he became a member of Integrity, the then seven-year-old lesbian,
gay (and later bisexual and transgendered) ministry of and to the Episcopal
Church. He immediately became involved in leadership of the New York chapter.
His first national responsibility was to organize a national convention held in
1984 at the General Theological Seminary in New York City. That work was
more than amply compensated by meeting at that convention a young man from
Michigan who was attending the conference. Scott Helsel and Kim have been
together since and will celebrate their 20th anniversary in August, 2004.
Kim was made chief fund raiser of Integrity and a member of the Board in the
fall of 1984 and served on the Board, with a minor interruption, in various
roles through 1997. Kim was elected President of Integrity in 1987 and put the
organization on a sound financial basis, helped assure there was gender parity
on the Board, and visited chapters in the United States, Canada, and Australia.
After stepping down as President in 1990, Kim became Director of Communication.
He coordinated Integrity's efforts at the General Conventions of the Episcopal
Church in 1988, 1991, 1994 and 1997. Kim was part of the four-person Integrity
presence at the Lambeth Conference of worldwide Bishops of the Anglican
Communion in 1998. He was awarded the second Louie Crew Award for Significant
Service to Integrity, following Dr. Crew himself.
In addition to Integrity work, Kim has and continues to serve in a number of
functions on the parish, diocesan and national levels of the Episcopal Church.
After moving to New Jersey in 1988, and changing parishes/dioceses in 1990, Kim
became Warden of his new parish and was elected to Diocesan Council of the
Diocese of Newark (1992), Alternate or Deputy from the Diocese of Newark to
General Conventions (1994, 1997 and 2000), the Standing Committee of the Diocese
of Newark (1999 and 2003), the Nominating Committee for Bishop Coadjutor of the
At the Episcopal General Convention, Kim has been the most prolific author of
lesbian and gay focused legislation, authoring over twenty successful
resolutions, including calling for equal treatment for same-sex partners by the
Church Pension Fund, amending the canons of the Church to prohibit
discrimination in membership or access to ordination because of sexual
orientation, and an apology to the LGBT community for the history of oppression
by the Episcopal Church.
In addition to General Convention activities, Kim has served the National
Church on the Joint Standing Committee on Nominations and the Standing
Commission on National Mission and Evangelism. In 2003, Kim was elected by
Province II (dioceses in NY, NJ, the Virgin Islands, Europe, and Haiti) to the
Executive Council of the Church, the 38-member body which governs the Episcopal
Church between General Conventions.
Kim has served on the Steering Committee of Claiming the Blessing, the
coalition which put forward the successful resolution supporting the blessing of
same-sex relationships by the Church in 2003.
(This biographical statement provided by Kim Byham.)