LGBT Religious Archives Network News

Newsletter #54: August 28, 2007

This month's news:

  1. Freda Smith Oral History Released
  2. White Dissertation Opens New Vistas
  3. Other New Info on Web Site
  4. Your Gift Preserves Our History

1.  Freda Smith Oral History Released

LGBT-RAN has posted an oral history interview with the Rev. Freda Smith. Smith was one of the early leaders of the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC)--in fact, the first woman in a prominent MCC leadership role.  The interview relates Smith's journey from the Salvation Army to feminist activism to becoming an MCC clergy, elder and evangelist over more than thirty-five years.  The interview was done by Dr. Melissa Wilcox, LGBT-RAN Advisory Committee member.

This is the tenth interview in LGBT-RAN's Oral History Project which focuses on preserving the stories and voices of LGBT religious leaders who otherwise might be lost to the historical record. Furthermore, LGBT-RAN is unique in making these interviews widely accessible for reading or listening to on its web site. If you know of existent oral history interviews that could be added to LGBT-RAN's online collection, contact Mark Bowman.

2.  White Dissertation Opens New Vistas

Heather Rachelle White defended her Ph.D. dissertation, Homosexuality, Gay Communities, and American Churches: A History of a Changing Religious Ethic, 1947-1977, earlier this month at Princeton University. Dr. White's dissertation is the first sustained history of mainline Protestants' efforts to grapple with their teachings on homosexuality. White's research into the advocacy of religious leaders and activists to end oppression of homosexual persons in the pre-Stonewall years is particularly illuminating. Dr. White will be an adjunct instructor in the religion department at Vassar College this fall.

3.  Other New Info on Web Site

Two new biographical sketches were added to the Profiles Gallery on the LGBT-RAN web site in recent weeks:

Rev. Eugene Robinson, openly gay Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire; and

Bill Silver, first openly gay clergy candidate in Presbyterian traditions.

ALSO--the Collections Catalog entry for the Dignity U.S.A. Collection has been updated to report that this major collection at the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives in Los Angeles has now been processed and a detailed finding aid is available online.

LGBT-RAN depends upon assistance of volunteers to generate Profile sketches and Collection entries. Contact Mark Bowman for info on how you can help.

4.  Your Gift Preserves Our History

LGBT-RAN is only able to continue its ground-breaking work to preserve LGBT religious history through the generous contributions of Friends like you.  You can set up an automatic monthly gift or make a one-time gift with your credit card by clicking on the icon to the left. Or send a check to: LGBT-RAN, c/o Chicago Theological Seminary, 5757 S. University Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637.

The LGBT Religious Archives Network News is an occasional email newsletter for persons interested in supporting the preservation of the history of LGBT religious movements. Subscribe now.