Adam′s Gift

A Memoir of a Pastor's Calling to Defy the Church's Persecution of Lesbians and Gays

Adam′s Gift

Book Pages: 376 Illustrations: 17color photographs Published: April 2011

Author: Jimmy Creech

Gender and Sexuality > LGBTQ Studies, General Interest > Biography, Letters, Memoirs, Religious Studies

Jimmy Creech, a United Methodist pastor in North Carolina, was visited one morning in 1984 by Adam, a longtime parishioner whom he liked and respected. Adam said that he was gay, and that he was leaving The United Methodist Church, which had just pronounced that “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” could not be ordained. He would not be part of a community that excluded him. Creech found himself instinctively supporting Adam, telling him that he was sure that God loved and accepted him as he was. Adam’s Gift is Creech’s inspiring first-person account of how that conversation transformed his life and ministry.

Adam’s visit prompted Creech to re-evaluate his belief that homosexuality was a sin, and to research the scriptural basis for the church’s position. He determined that the church was mistaken, that scriptural translations and interpretations had been botched and dangerously distorted. As a Christian, Creech came to believe that discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people was morally wrong. This understanding compelled him to perform same-gender commitment ceremonies, which conflicted with church directives. Creech was tried twice by The United Methodist Church, and, after the second trial, his ordination credentials were revoked. Adam’s Gift is a moving story and an important chapter in the unfinished struggle for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil and human rights.


“Essential reading for gay and lesbian Christians and other LGBT readers, Creech’s memoir should serve as an important case study for pastors and denominations reexamining their stance toward sexual minorities.” — Library Journal

“’Hero’ is an overused word in our vocabulary today. When I think of heroes, I think of men and women who've risked everything for a cause they believed in, not for pay, not because they were conscripted, and not because it was popular, but because — despite the public ridicule and the certainty that what they were doing would cost them dearly — they followed their conscience. Or in the case of Jimmy Creech, followed their understanding of what Christianity was all about. . . . If you don't know Creech's story, or even if you do — and many in Raleigh will remember some of it — the book is a page-turner from the day Creech arrives in Nebraska to the guilty verdict that sends him back to North Carolina. . . .Great book.” — Bob Geary, Independent Weekly

“Creech’s detailed dissection of deep-rooted anti-gay attitudes, intensely personal and spiritually impassioned, honors a remarkable straight ally.” — Richard Labonte, BookMarks

“Eleven years in the making, the author’s valiant, first-person narrative examines the conundrum of religion vs. reason. . . . An inspirational example of unbiased humanitarianism.” — Kirkus Reviews

“With often rich, always empathetic prose, Creech proves to be a pastor — who honors the minds but challenges the ideas — to a large and varied flock of readers.” — Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post

Adam’s Gift is not simply the dramatic, true story of one man’s courageous and sacrificial stand against denominational practices that lead to the denial of full inclusion for lesbians and gays. It is also an intimate and powerful look at the current struggle between the forces of light and dark for the heart and soul of the Christian church.” — Reverend Dr. Mel White

“I would like to express a deep debt of gratitude to Jimmy Creech. He perceived what God is up to and then had the courage to act on his conviction, no matter what the price was to himself. Thank God for the prophets in our midst. May God give us the courage to emulate them!” — Reverend John McNeil

“Jimmy Creech is a man who puts his life where his Gospel is! His amazing journey, as told in his memoir, is the story of a follower of Christ who, like Christ, risked his own life and ministry for the sake of the marginalized and scorned. The LGBT community will forever owe him a debt for his sacrifice and his witness to the love of God for ALL of God’s children.” — Bishop Gene Robinson, Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Jimmy Creech is a former United Methodist minister, now retired and living in Raleigh, North Carolina. He has worked with many social-action organizations, including Soulforce, an interfaith movement confronting spiritual violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons; the Methodist Federation for Social Action; the Raleigh Religious Network for Gay and Lesbian Equality; and Faith in America, an organization working to end religion-based bigotry. He has received the Flagbearer Award from PFLAG National; the Human Rights Campaign Equality Award; the Saint Award presented by Metropolitan Community Church, San Francisco; the North Carolina Pride, Inc. Award; and the Lee and Mae Ball Award, presented by The Methodist Federation for Social Action. He was selected as one of OUT magazine’s “Out 100” in 1998 and 1999.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments ix

1. Adam 1

2. Orientation 5

3. Reorientation 27

4. Stepping Off the Curb 45

5. A Pastor Again 95

6. Covenant Ceremony 115

7. Hell Breaks Loose 125

8. Under Siege 147

9. Pretrial 183

10. The Church on Trial 207

11. Aftershock 255

12. New Challenges 283

13. Blessing Withdrawn 311

14. Epilogue 331

Notes 341

Bibliography 351

Index 355
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