LGBT Religious Archives Network News

Newsletter #73: February 24, 2010

This month's news:

  1. Wheatley Interview Posted
  2. New Profiles This Month
  3. LGBT Religious History Award at May 8th Dinner
  4. Rev. Phebe Hanaford Biography Published

1.  Wheatley Interview Posted

A revealing interview with Bishop Melvin and Lucile Wheatley is now available to read or listen to in LGBT-RAN's Oral History Project. In this interview, Melvin Wheatley relates his experiences of public education and advocacy on behalf of lesbian and gay persons that began in 1978 while a United Methodist bishop. The Wheatleys were among very few mainline church leaders willing to publicly support LGBT persons at that time.  They relate stories of being compelled to offer an alternative to the church's antigay statements and policies and the ostracism and condemnation they faced because of this.

The Wheatley interview was conducted by Mark Bowman in October, 1994, as part of a personal research initiative. The tape was recently rediscovered and transcribed for LGBT-RAN's Oral History Project. If you know of existent oral histories of other leaders of LGBT religious movements--either in archives or personal collections--please contact LGBT-RAN so we can preserve these valuable stories and make them widely accessible for historical research.

2.  New Profiles This Month

These persons have been added to the Profiles Gallery over the past month:

John Hose, a founding Elder of the MCC;
Jorge Sosa, pastor of Mexico City MCC and Elder;
Hong Tan, pastor founded MCC North London;
Joan Wakeford, South African evangelist, later MCC clergy; and
Melvin E. Wheatley, United Methodist bishop & early advocate for LGBT rights.

The Profiles Gallery, with over 250 entries, is the most heavily-used part of the LGBT-RAN web site. LGBT-RAN needs your assistance to gather biographical sketches of other leaders of LGBT religious movements to be added to the Gallery. Read here about how to submit a profile for yourself or other leaders.

3.  LGBT Religious History Award at May 8th Dinner

On Saturday evening, May 8, 2010, LGBT-RAN will honor Shaun Jacob Halper with the 2009-10 LGBT Religious History Award. Halper, a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at the University of California Berkeley, is being honored for his research paper, "Fashioning a Gay Jewish Identity in Interwar Prague: The Case of JiÅ™í Langer (1894-1944)."

Friends are most welcome to attend this annual LGBT-RAN dinner at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California, to learn more about Halper's research, hear a featured presenter (to be announced) and meet members of the LGBT-RAN Advisory Committee.  Email Mark Bowman to request an invitation with more details about this gathering.

4.  Rev. Phebe Hanaford Biography Published

Loretta Cody has published a biography of the Rev. Phebe Hanaford, purported to the first identifiable lesbian clergy in the U.S.  The book, A Mighty Social Force, offers details of the romantic friendship between Phebe Hanaford and Ellen Miles.  Ellen as the "minister's wife" enabled Phebe her hours for writing and preaching. Phebe offered  her support in all of Ellen's work as Sabbath school teacher and writer of prose.  In forty-four years of mutual support they formed a circle that admitted few.  The book is available at  for $14.99.

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