Spiritual Hero:  Rev. Robert Wood (1923-2018)

Rev. Robert Watson Wood, an ordained Congregational minister who started advocating for LGBTQ rights in the early 1960s, died Aug. 19, 2018. In 1960 Wood urged churches to welcome lesbian and gay people in America’s first book on homosexuality and Christianity, “Christ and the Homosexual.”

He went on to become the first member of the clergy to picket for LGBTQ rights, wearing his clergy collar at a 1965 protest. His advocacy for LGBTQ rights continued throughout his long life, although he was so far ahead of his time that his contributions have been forgotten by many.

Wood grew up in Ohio and became aware of his homosexuality in high school. Although he advocated for LGBTQ rights and lived openly with his male partner, he didn’t come out publicly as gay himself until his retirement in 1986. In 1962 Wood met his life partner Hugh M. Coulter, an abstract artist, former rodeo cowboy and a fellow World War II veteran. They lived together as a couple while Wood served as pastor of three different parishes over the next 26 years until Coulter’s death.

Excerpted with permission from an article by Rev. Kittredge Cherry, Qspirit.net. She is an author and retired MCC clergy who served as National Ecumenical Officer for MCC.


Spiritual Hero: Joan of Arc

Spiritual Hero:  Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc was a tough cross-dressing teenage warrior who led the medieval French army to victory when she was 17.  She is a queer icon, girl-power hero and patron saint of France. Her feast day is May 30.

Smart and courageous, Joan of Arc had visions of saints and angels who told her to cut her hair, put on men’s clothes and go to war. At age 18 she helped crown a king and at 19 she was killed by the church that later made her a saint.   She died for her God-given right to wear men’s clothing, the crime for which she was executed on May 30, 1431.

Read MUCH MUCH more about Joan of Arc here.

Excerpted with permission from an article by Rev. Kittredge Cherry, Qspirit.net. She is an author and retired MCC clergy who served as National Ecumenical Officer for MCC.  (Image: “Queer Saints: St. Joan of Arc” by Katy Miles-Wallace)




Spiritual Hero ~ Rev. Dr. Jacquelyn Grant (1948 – )

Jacquelyn Grant  is an African-American professor, theologian, author, and one of the founding developers of womanist theology. She is currently the Callaway Professor of Systematic Theology at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta.

Grant has written the notable White Women’s Christ and Black Women’s Jesus: Feminist Christology and Womanist Response. Through her Black Women in Ministerial Leadership Program, Grant continues to serve as director and professor mentoring numerous Black women.

Grant was born December 19, 1948 in Georgetown, South Carolina. She always had an interest in religion, attending Catholic school at a young age, and graduating from the local Howard High School in 1966. A graduate of Bennett College and Turner Theological Seminary, she became the first black woman to earn a doctoral degree in systematic theology at Union Theological Seminary.

In 1977, Grant became involved with Harvard Divinity School’s Women’s Research Program and with her involvement, it led to the creation of the Women’s Studies in Religion Program in which she remained for two years. In 1981, she founded the Center for Black Women in Church and Society at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta. She was assistant minister at Flipper Temple African Methodist Episcopal Church, and later the Victory African Methodist Episcopal Church in Atlanta. She is widowed to Reverend John Collier Jr., and now resides in Atlanta.