Saturday, October 17, 2009

Urban Specialist Pastors and Their Supporters

Pastors from the Council on Religion and the Homosexual

Photo Courtesy of the GLBT Historical Society, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon Papers, Box 192, Seven Angry Ministers CRH 1965

Rev. Charles "Chuck" Lewis, Board Missionary for the Lutheran Church in America (LCA), and pastor of the North Beach Mission (NBM), Chuck lead youth urban experiences, trainings for pastors and other professionals to learn about the issues of gay people and saw himself as a pastor to the gay social groups. In the late 60's Chuck became the president of the Council on Religion and the Homosexual (CRH) in 1968. Learn More - Oral History

Photo Courtesy of the GLBT Historical Society, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon Papers, Box 192, Seven Angry Ministers CRH 1965

Rev. Clay Caldwell from the United Church of Christ

Rev. William “Bill “ Black an Urban Specialist from from LCA and Pastor of Sunset Lutheran, Bill also served on the NBM committee.

Photo Courtesy of the GLBT Historical Society, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon Papers, Box 192, Seven Angry Ministers CRH 1965

Rev. Ted McIlvenna The founder of the Council of Religion and the Homosexual, Ted became the Young Adult Minister at Glide after the National Council of Churches interviewed hitchikers to find out that they were all headed to San Francisco. Ted secured the foundational support to provide the funds for the Vanguard project and other work with young adults in San Francisco. Learn More

Rev. Bill Grace from the Presbyterian Church

Photo Courtesy of the GLBT Historical Society, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon Papers, Box 192, Seven Angry Ministers CRH 1965

Rev. Robert "Bob" Cromey – As an assistant to Bishop Pike, Bob was encouraged to work on civil rights issues. Bishop Pike sent Bob to the first meeting of CRH (which Bob ended up becoming a member of), in return Bob helped Bishop Pike change his mind about homosexuality, so much so that the Bishop actually tracked down the gay pastors he had pushed out of the ministry and found them ministerial jobs. Oral History -- Learn More


Glide Memorial Pastors


Rev. Ed Hansen, was an intern at Glide Memorial from Claremont Seminary. He served as Vanguard's initial contact at Glide. His return to school is lamented in the first issue of Vanguard. He went on to write his thesis on homosexuality and religion.

Rev. Ed Pete organized the older folk in the Tenderloin to protest to help the Tenderloin to become recognized as a poverty district.

Photo Courtesy of the GLBT Historical Society, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon Papers, Box 192, Armed Forces Protest 1966

Rev. Cecil Williams became the pastor of Glide Memorial Church in 1964. He encouraged the gay organizations to use Civil Rights organizing and nonviolence to organize and empower members of the Tenderloin, Bayview, Filmore and Haight Ashbury. Cecil was


Rev. Ted McIlvenna Ted was recruited by the National Council of Churches to serve run the Young Adult Program at Glide. Ted is the founder of CRH.

Rev. John Moore Was the pastor of Glide Church before Cecil Williams.His sermons on Homosexuality appeared on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Photo Courtesy of the GLBT Historical Society, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon Papers, Box 192, Seven Angry Ministers CRH 1965

Rev. Lewis "Lewie" Durham worked for Glide Foundation. Lewie was in charge of educating the board of directors so that they would be support the work that the Glide pastors were doing. At one point Lewie even had to respond to angry letters that were sent to Bishop Pike after a story was run about the Vanguard youth. Oral History

Rev. Lawrence "Larry" Mamiya was an intern from Union Theological Seminary in New York from the UCC tradition to Glide to replace the Rev. Ed Hansen. Called to ministry to the youth of San Francisco, Larry worked directly with Vanguard and also spent significant time with the psychedelic community in the Haight Ashbury. Larry helped to open the Haight Asbury clinic, Free Concerts and started both the Vanguard dances and the food programs at Glide.


Members of Vanguard

Mentioned Previously: Ed Hansen, Ted McIlvenna, Lewis Durham, Larry Mamiya

Photo Courtesy of the GLBT Historical Society, Ray Broshears Papers, Carton 3

Rev. Ray Broshears Described as the oldest member of Vanguard, Ray writes an article on loneliness for the 4th issue, before moving to Contra Costa County. A pastor in a non-mainline denomination, Ray moves back to the city and becomes famous for being a key part of conspiracy theories about the death of JFK, creating the Lavender Panthers (an armed group to protect gay people from bashers), and for helping to start the San Francisco's Gay Pride Parade (though some people claim he was originally organizing a counter protest in hopes of stopping it).

Rev Keith A member of the Vanguard youth whom also seems to have been ordained in a non-mainline denomination (Universal Life Church).

Rev. Adrian Ravarour A founding member of Vanguard, On December 21, 1966, Bishop Mikhail Itkin ordained Ravarour as a priest in the Holy Catholic Synod of the Syro-Chaldean Rite, and to his Eucharistic Catholic Orders. Bishop Itkin consecrated Ravarour to the episcopate in the winter of 1967 to help with the founding and administration of San Francisco mission ministries.Learn more


Other Gay Friendly Pastors

Episcopal Bishop James Alan Pike (Diocese of California) Bishop Pike sent Bob Cromey to the first meeting of CRH (which Bob ended up becoming a member of), in return Bob helped Bishop Pike change his mind about homosexuality, so much so that the Bishop actually tracked down the gay pastors he had pushed out of the ministry and found them ministerial jobs.Bishop Pike recreated the recipe for oil that was given to Noah. After giving it to a group of conformation students he put it on his own head and discovered that the high it created was similar to marijuana use. Resigned as Bishop in ’68 and died after getting lost in the desert and falling off a cliff. Learn more about Bishop Pike


Methodist Bishop Tippett (as described by Lewis Durham): “I knew the Bishop would back me as long as I kept him informed. He didn’t like to be surprised. He didn’t want somebody calling up with something .. so I’d call him in the middle of the night mainly to let him know, you know, there’s going to be something happening. And he was an old war horse. He’d lost an eye and he lost it picketing in New York when they were shipping scrap iron to Japan and some union people who wanted jobs, you know, they wanted the shipping of scrap iron to Japan, beat him up. He lost an eye. So he was a fighter and he… I remember once. This was after, some guy, some conservative columnist did a story about our … we had Vanguard which was the gay prostitutes and they had a dance (p9) and this guy his four hundred newspapers, you know, with his column, you know, talking bout this awful thing that had happened in Glide where young men were dancing cheek to cheek and all that kind of … he really went into great detail. And by God, here came some telegrams from the Southern bishops, two or three from the Southern bishops and conferences in Texas and Alabama and all, asking Bishop Tippett to defrock us. And he just picked up the telegrams and the letters and said ‘Lewie, you answer them’ (laughs). ‘I haven’t got time.’ So he was a great support."


Photo Courtesy of the GLBT Historical Society, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon Papers, Box 192, Seven Angry Ministers CRH 1965

Rev. Fred Bird: A pastor who served as the chairman of the Central City Citizens Committee and fought for recreational spaces for the youth, seniors and other members of the neighborhood. In this role Fred regularly lobbied San Francisco politicians and created opportunities for members of the Tenderloin to share their concerns directly with their elected officials.


Rev Don Stuart: The first Night Minister, Don spent his time on the streets at night with whomever needed him. Regularly visiting the bars, Don lived the idea that wherever two or more are gathered, there Christ is.

Bishop Michael Francis Itkin was a Bishop of the Holy Catholic Synod of the Syro-Chaldean Rite doing missionary work in the Tenderloin who ordained several of the Vanguard youth as missionaries. Learn More

Rev. Laird Sutton: - A part-time sculptor, poet and film maker, Laird helped to create the sexually explicit movies that were used to help pastors and other professions to become desensitized to homosexuality.

Lay Leaders

Dr. Cliffard "Cliff" Crummey: President of the Northern California Council of Churches and a member of the Glide Foundation Board. Cliff was instrumental in supporting the Urban Specialist Pastors. When people tied to stop their work by withdrawing funding from local or national offices, Cliff would help to replace their donations. At one point when Chevron and several bank ceos threaten to take away their funds from the National Council of Churches unless the stop the pastors of Glide (whom that had no authority over), Crummey was able to replace their donations.

Joanne "Jo" Chadwick: From the Happy Dane tradition, Jo, was a member of the LCA and worked with Chuck at the North Beach Mission. In charge of young adult Christian education and ministry to single young adults, Jo was known among y the other pastors as "whats-her-name." Jo also served as a ghost letter writer for Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon to help them answer all the letters they recieved from across the country.

Mark Forrester: Hired as staff for the poverty program, Mark Forrester was an instrumental part of Vanguard and work to write articles and provide information through Federal Poverty Funds.

Photo Courtesy of the GLBT Historical Society, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon Papers, Box 192, Armed Forces Protest 1966

Del Martin: Founder of the Daughters of Billitis, Del Martin was a member of CRH.

Phyllis Lyon: Founder of the Daughters of Billitis, Phyllis was a member of CRH. Phyllis also served as Ted McIlvenna's secretary at Glide.

Photo Courtesy of the GLBT Historical Society, Don Lucas Papers, Box 21-4, Portraits

Don Lucas: Member of the Mattachine Society, Don Lucas was a member of the CRH Board, who also participated in the conversations in the Episcopal Diocese about homosexuality.


*Photos Courtesy of the GLBT Historical Society Archive

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