Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches
Affirming the historic creeds of Protestant Christianity, UFMCC maintains a strong commitment to social action, particularly in areas of discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, age, and health.
This Protestant denomination was founded in Los Angeles, California, in 1968 by the Reverend Troy Perry. A former Pentecostal pastor in Georgia and Florida, Perry was ousted from his pulpit when he announced that he was gay. Perry from the first sought to create a church that would welcome those who felt excluded from most Christian churches. Convinced that labeling homosexuality as a sin distorted the meaning of the Christian gospel, the denomination has given particular emphasis to including gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered persons in its ministry.
Affirming the historic creeds of Protestant Christianity, UFMCC maintains a strong commitment to social action, particularly in areas of discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, age, and health. Consequently, the denomination boasts an extraordinarily high proportion of women clergy. Worship styles vary among congregations and range from the charismatic to the liturgical. All churches affiliated with UFMCC, however, celebrate the Eucharist weekly.
Within five years of the denomination’s founding, churches had been established in the South in Atlanta, Miami, and Dallas. In South Carolina there are UFMCC congregations in Charleston, Columbia, and Greenville. Churches in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Augusta, Georgia, also include members from South Carolina.
In 1999 UFMCC opened an international headquarters in Los Angeles. An elected board of elders provides global leadership between biannual general conferences. Starting in 2002 oversight of local congregations came through geographic regions. International membership in 2001 was 42,000, but estimates hold that at least twice as many persons have some association with the denomination.
Perry, Troy. The Lord Is My Shepherd and He Knows I’m Gay. Los Angeles, Calif.: Nash, 1972.
Perry, Troy, with Thomas L. P. Swicegood. Don’t Be Afraid Anymore: The Story of Reverend Troy Perry and the Metropolitan Community Churches. New York: St. Martin’s, 1990.