A little over a year ago the Montgomery County Police Department wanted to host a community meeting with the LGBTQ community. “They reached out to the faith community – pastors of and advocates in welcoming and affirming churches,” says Rev. Jill McCrory, pastor of Twinbrook Baptist Church in Rockville, Md. “We reached out and got the word out.”
At the meeting, the participants discovered that these were the same people they all knew. But they were unable to gather the greater LGBTQ community because there was no means of communicating other through contacting welcoming and affirming congregations and advocacy groups. They also realized that there was confusion over where services could be found, what was available, and there seemed to be a need for information.
The faith leaders and advocates who were at that first community meeting came together and started planning the MoCo Pride Center. Rev. McCrory headed up the effort due in part to her doctorate program at Wesley Seminary whereby approving the Center was her doctorate project.
“Visionaries have been meeting for a year developing governance, identity and brand, and looking for members of the first Board of Directors for the organization,” McCrory explains.
“Focus groups have told us that there is a lot of need on the part of the community and that people are most interested in social gatherings, support groups, health care resources and recommendations, business recommendations, and a physical space in which to gather.”
They held a social in Germantown in May and this past Saturday in Silver Spring. The Center was a part of this year’s Rockville Pride celebration and plans to hold a county celebration next year.
“We are hoping to officially launch with a large launch party in late fall 2017,” says McCrory.