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Inventory of the Roy Birchard: Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches Collection
GTU 91-12-01  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms
  • Separated Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Roy Birchard: Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches collection
    Dates: 1961-1998
    Collection number: GTU 91-12-01
    Creator: Birchard, Roy
    Collection Size: 23 boxes, 1 folio

    19 linear ft.
    Repository: The Graduate Theological Union. Library.
    Berkeley, CA 94709
    Abstract: This collection contains materials from the life of Roy Birchard, who was a leader in the early years of the Metropolitan Community Church. He served in a number of leadership roles in various locations, including New York and San Francisco. The materials include working files, personal papers, correspondence, newsclippings, periodicals, audiotapes, videotapes, photographs, and computer disks.
    Physical location: Boxes 1-12, 2/G/4 - 2/H/1; Boxes 13-23, 2/J/4-2/K/2
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    Collection is open for research. Four boxes are restricted. Boxes 11, 13, and 14 are closed until 2031. Box 12 is closed until 2050.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Graduate Theological Union. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Graduate Theological Union as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    Roy Birchard: Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches collection, GTU 91-12-01. Graduate Theological Union Archives, Berkeley, CA.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Roy Birchard, 1991.

    Biography / Administrative History

    Adrian Roy Birchard was born in Middlebury, Vermont, to Adrian Birchard and Winifred Marion Killoran on July 26, 1943. Birchard grew up in nearby Shoreham, graduating from high school in 1961. He received his A.B. from Berea College, Kentucky, 1965, majoring in English; and B.D. from Union Theological Seminary, New York, 1969. He was ordained in June 1969 by the Addison Association, Vermont Conference, United Church of Christ. Birchard returned to graduate school at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, entering a Ph.D. program in English. While there, he came out as gay and became an activist for gay rights. He returned to New York and worked, 1970-75 for the Department of Mission Interpretation of the United Presbyterian Church as an administrative assistant and copy editor.
    Birchard became active in the Gay Activist's Alliance, New York. After the arrival of the Rev. Howard Wells, Metropolitan Community Church missionary to New York, he participated in founding MCC, New York, served on the Board of Directors, then as pastor, 1973-75. Roy became active in the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, serving in several pastorates through 1994, including Tidewater, Virginia; St. Louis, Missouri; All God's Children, Minneapolis; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Golden Gate, San Francisco. Other MCC denominational service includes the Ministerial Credentials and Affairs Committee, the Board of Elders, Editor of The Gay Christian, and Director of the MCC Washington Office. Beginning in 1985, Roy's interest and energies led to work with Asian gay and lesbian issues. In 1994, he began attending the independent First United Lutheran Church, San Francisco (the church having been expelled from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for retaining an openly-gay pastor). His UFMCC ministerial credentials expired in 1996.
    The Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches was founded October 1968 in Los Angeles, CA by the Rev. Troy D. Perry. Perry understood himself called by God to begin not just a gay church, but a church which would be founded on the love of God for all persons. The Metropolitan Community Church was to offer a welcome to all persons, and stand for Christian Social Justice, advocating both the secular and religious rights of all.
    The UFMCC has grown into a worldwide denomination with over 300 churches, headquartered still in Los Angeles. For a history of Perry and the UFMCC, see: Don't Be Afraid Anymore: The Story of Reverend Troy Perry and the Metropolitan Community Churches by Troy D. Perry with Thomas L.P. Swicegood (St. Martin's Press: New York, 1990); BX9896 Z8 P47 1990. See also: Our Tribe, Nancy Wilson (Harper Collins: 1995); BR115.H6 W55 1995.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection came from the donor's home in two sections. The first section of the collection containing material from 1961-91 was received in 1991 and processed in 1997. The second section containing material from 1990-98 (with some earlier material included) was received in 1998 and processed in 2000. All file folder headings are original to the donor. The donor arranged materials chronologically by year. The first section of the collection comprising Boxes 1-12 has been arranged chronologically by year, then alphabetical within the year. The first section of the collection had sustained some water and mold damage. One foot of material, ca. 1961-71, concerning Berea College and Union Theological Seminary was discarded due to severe mold damage. Some periodicals (see Boxes 9-10) were water damaged, but retained in the collection -- included are In Unity, The Gay Christian, and Journey. The second section of the collection comprising Boxes 13-23 has been given an alphabetical arrangement.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Perry, Troy D.
    Woo, Franklin J.
    Smith, Freda
    Kam, Crayne
    Yeh, Johnny
    Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches--History--Sources
    Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches--Clergy
    Gay Clergy
    Clergy--Political activity
    Gays--Religious life
    Homosexuality--Religious aspects
    Gay Liberation movement--Religious aspects
    Ordination of Gays
    Ordination--Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches
    Church work with gays--United States
    AIDS (Disease)--History--Sources
    AIDS (Disease)--Religious aspects
    Church work with Asian Americans
    Asia-Christianity-20th Century

    Separated Material


    Added to the GTU Library collection:
    • Crew, Louie, ed., The Gay Academic (ETC Publications: Palm Springs, CA, 1978). HQ76.5 G38 1978
    • Gearhart, Sally and William R. Johnson, Loving Women/Loving Men: Gay Liberation and the Church (Glide Publications: San Francisco, CA, 1974). BR115 H6 G4
    • Gross, Alfred A., A Primer of Ethics (St. Paul's Press: Sandy, OR, 1971). BJ1251 G76 1971
    • Jones, Clinton R., Homosexuality and Counseling (Fortress Press: Philadelphia, PA, 1974). HQ76.3 U5 J63
    • Jones, Clinton R., What About Homosexuality? A Youth Forum Book (Thomas Nelson, Inc.: Nashville, TN, 1972). HQ76.3 U5 J64
    • Lee, Ronald D., Frank Melleno, and Robert Mullis, Gay Men Speak: The Yes Book of Sex (Multi Media Resource Center: San Francisco, CA, 1973). HQ76 L43 1973
    • Perry, Troy D. with Thomas L.P. Swicegood, Don't Be Afraid Anymore: The Story of Troy Perry and the Metropolitan Community Churches (St. Martin's Press: New York, NY, 1990). BX9896 Z8 P47 1990
    • Schave, Evelyn, For Such a Time as This! (T-E-N Press: [ ? ], 1997).
    • Teal, Donn, The Gay Militants (Stein and Day: New York, NY, 1971). HQ76 T4 1971
    • Wilson, Nancy, Our Tribe: Queer Folks, God, Jesus, and the Bible (Harper: San Francisco, CA, 1995). BR115 H6 W55 1995


    Removed items
    • Three Weeks in July by John Coriolan (Renaissance House: New York, 1975), paperback, 8.5 x 11 in., signed by author, 12/3/75: Given to the Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center, San Francisco Public Library.
    • The Pinnicle, 2 bound volumes of the student newspaper, Berea College, ca. 1963-65. Discarded.