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GLIDE Historical Records
SFH 744  
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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
  • Additional collection guides

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: GLIDE Historical Records
    Dates: 1945-2022
    Collection Number: SFH 744
    Creator/Collector: Mirikitani, Janice. Williams, Cecil, 1929-. Glide Memorial United Methodist Church (San Francisco, Calif.).
    Extent: 45 cartons, 2 oversized flat folders (48 cubic feet)
    Repository: San Francisco Public Library. San Francisco History Center
    San Francisco, California 94102
    Abstract: Collection documents Glide Memorial Church's Sunday services, programs and fundraising events, mainly during Rev. Cecil Williams' leadership.
    Language of Material: English


    Collection is stored off site. It is available for use during San Francisco History Center hours, with photographs available during Photo Desk hours. Collections that are stored off site should be requested 48 hours in advance.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts and/or publish from photographs must be submitted in writing to Francesca Delgado-Jones of the Glide organization.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. GLIDE Historical Records. Collection Number: SFH 744. San Francisco Public Library. San Francisco History Center

    Acquisition Information

    Donated to San Francisco History Center in September, 2023.

    Biography/Administrative History

    Glide Memorial Church was founded as a Methodist Church in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco in 1929. Philanthropist Lizzie Glide created the Glide Foundation endowment to support the church. With declining membership, the board hired the Rev. Lewis Durham and established the Glide Urban Center in 1963, a new urban ministry that developed programs to counter the Tenderloin's worsening delinquency, prostitution, and drug problems. They hired three clergy persons: Ted McIlvenna to run the young adult ministry, Don Kuhn to become Glide's publisher, and Cecil Williams as Minister of Outreach. Williams became Glide's pastor upon the departure of the Rev. John V. Moore in 1966. Williams, along with his future wife Janice Mirikitani and other Glide staff, re-oriented the church to serve the most vulnerable members of the community. Sunday services became "Sunday Celebrations," welcoming all people, and replacing traditional hymms with jazz and blues music. The church became a gathering space and center of activism for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community; sponsored housing for runaway youth and women and children; and hosted free meals for the hungry. Beginning in the late 1980s, Glide held national conferences to address the crack cocaine epidemic. Glide has become a nationally recognized center for social justice, with an integrated and comprehensive service model to meet basic needs and support people along pathways toward stabilization and self-sufficiency. The foundation currently runs 87 various social service programs. Glide separated from the United Methodist Church in 2020.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Collection documents Glide Memorial Church's Sunday services, programs and special events, mainly during Rev. Cecil Williams' leadership. Includes Williams' sermons, speeches and correspondence, Janice Mirikitani's published writings, printed works of Glide Publications, church bulletins, Glide Ensemble sheet music and recordings, photographs, some program files, "Vibrations From a New People" television show files and recordings, social action files, United Methodist Church correspondence and other documents, photographs, posters, ephemera and media coverage. Includes files on three national conferences, organized by Glide beginning in 1989, addressing the crack cocaine epidemic. Organization and Arrangement: Processed to box level by Marilyn Kincaid of Glide Memorial Church. Generally organized by type and/or function of material. Series were not created. Within segments, arrangement is mainly chronological.

    Indexing Terms

    Church group work -- California -- San Francisco.
    Church work -- California -- San Francisco.
    Methodist Church -- California -- San Francisco.
    Social justice -- California -- San Francisco.
    Glide Memorial United Methodist Church (San Francisco, Calif.) -- Archives.
    San Francisco (Calif.) -- History.

    Additional collection guides