MCC Church founder to donate artifacts to Smithsonian

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Rev. Elder Troy Perry, founder of the Metropolitan Community Churches. (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.

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