“Where Do You Draw the Line?”
September 30, 2012
“We tried to stop him because he was not following us.” A poor, unnamed “someone” was seeking to be faithful to the Jesus he had somehow come to know. And he comes up against that most difficult person—another follower of Jesus.
Within the United Church of Christ we have often drawn the line in ways different from other churches.
In 1785 the all-white Congregational church in Granville , Massachusetts called the Rev. Lemuel Haynes as minister. He was the first African-American ordained to Christian ministry in a mainline tradition.
In 1853 Antoinette Brown was ordained as minister of a Congregational Church in New York , making her the first American woman ordained into Christian ministry.
In 1972 the San Francisco Association of United Church of Christ ordained Bill Johnson, and we became the first denomination to ordain an openly gay person.