It’s no secret Ocracoke Island is one of my favorite places. We go every year. It has the kind of tolerance and mutual respect for others that one generally sees in places that are either very big or very small.
This is an interesting article about one of its former citizens from Philip Howard’s blog.
Thanks to my friend Madonna for sending this to me…
Jimmy Creech was pastor of the Ocracoke United Methodist Church from 1973-1981. His impact on the church and community was profound and lasting. While Jimmy served his Ocracoke congregation he was also active in the volunteer fire department, promoted local musical gatherings, participated in variety shows and theater productions, organized an active youth group, helped sponsor cooking classes in the parsonage, and contributed to numerous other civic and community projects.
After leaving Ocracoke, Jimmy served other churches in North Carolina, and in Nebraska. In 1984, a member of Jimmy’s congregation came out to him as gay and announced he was leaving The United Methodist Church because of its policies toward lesbian, gay and bisexual members. Increased knowledge of these issues in the church and society transformed Jimmy’s life and ministry. He began to publicly challenge the church’s teachings and policies about homosexuality and to advocate for the full inclusion and acceptance of lesbian, gay and bisexual people in the church and society. Eventually Jimmy’s ordination was revoked in 1999 for performing same-sex unions.
In March, Duke University Press will be releasing Jimmy’s new book, Adam’s Gift, the story of his defiance of the church’s official position.