April 01, 2009

Pioneers In GLBT Faith: Fred H. Ellis

From the LGBT Religious Archive Network:

Fred Ellis, a member of Integrity (Episcopal) since 1991, was born in 1952 in Lufkin, Texas. He grew up as an active member of the Methodist Church, attended college at the University of Texas at Austin, and following school began a career in the hospitality industry. In 1983, Fred was confirmed in the Episcopal Church at Christ Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Fred’s activism began shortly after that when the Rector at Christ Church asked him to speak with a couple whose daughter had just come out to them. For the next nine years that activism was focused at the local parish level in various locations. In 1991, Fred and five other people decided to form an Integrity Chapter in Nashville, Tennessee. It became Integrity of Middle Tennessee. In 1993, Fred was appointed by Bruce Garner, President of Integrity to serve as the Director of Development for the national organization, and, in 1994, was elected National President serving two terms through 1998.

During his term as President, Fred served a three-year term on the National Committee of the Episcopal Church for Continuing the Dialogue on Human Sexuality. He also began the process of bringing various LGBT groups within the Episcopal Church together, and to focus them on working together. This began with meetings with Oasis of Newark and participating in the organizational meeting of Oasis of California. During this same time, the National Board of Integrity worked closely with Lutherans Concerned, and the final National Convention of Integrity during Fred’s term was a joint meeting with Integrity and Lutherans Concerned. At that convention Fred was presented the Louie Crew Award for distinguished Gay and Lesbian ministry in the Episcopal Church. One of the highlights of Fred’s term as President of Integrity was to be one of the speakers at the farewell event for the then Presiding Bishop, The Most Reverend Edmund Browning, at the 1997 General Convention in Philadelphia. Another highlight was to be able to participate in the first, and organizational meeting, of the LGBT Religious Leaders Roundtable in Washington, D.C. in July 1998.

Click here to read more about Fred H. Ellis.

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