September 25, 2019 at 2:53 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
MCC Church founder to donate artifacts to Smithsonian
Troy Perry, gay news, Washington Blade
Rev. Elder Troy Perry, founder of the Metropolitan Community Churches, is making a donation to the Smithsonian. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Rev. Elder Troy Perry, founder of the Metropolitan Community Churches, the first Christian denomination with a primary ministry to the LGBT community, is donating a collection of artifacts from the church’s 51-year history to the Smithsonian Institution.

An announcement released by the church says Perry and other church officials will present a 12-item collection of artifacts to Smithsonian History Museum official Katherine Ott at an Oct. 6 ceremony at the Metropolitan Community Church of D.C. at 11 a.m.

MCC D.C. is one of the many MCC churches that emerged following Perry’s founding of MCC in Los Angeles in 1968. The MCC denomination headquarters remains in Los Angeles.

“The artifacts include Rev. Perry’s Book of Common Prayer used in the first Service of the Metropolitan Community Church held in his home in 1968, the first same gender wedding ceremony, and for later HIV/AIDS funerals,” the announcement says.

“Another artifact is a small cross made of stain glass from one of the destroyed windows of the original Los Angeles mother church [in an] arson fire in 1973,” the announcement says. “There are twelve items in all in the collection,” it says.

The announcement notes that after 34 years of ministry, Rev. Perry retired from his position as moderator of the Metropolitan Community Churches in 2005. “But he continues to strive for LGBTQ social justice,” it says.

The artifact donation ceremony for the Smithsonian will be part of a service at the MCC D.C. on Oct. 6 to celebrate the 51st anniversary of the MCC churches and will be presided over by MCC D.C. Pastor Dwayne Johnson.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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