Gay Leader Asked to Leave His Local Church

Episcopal News Service. April 8, 1976 [76125]

FORT VALLEY, Ga. -- The Vestry of St. Luke's Episcopal Church here has written to communicant Dr. Louie Crew telling him: "We would all be pleased if you would find some other place of worship that may be more in sympathy to your thinking and efforts towards Gay people."

The Vestry's letter also attempted to disestablish Dr. Crew's communicant status in the parish on grounds that the letter of transfer which they had received in the fall of 1973 was not a formal letter of transfer, but only a hand-written note.

The Rt. Rev. Bennett Sims, Bishop of Atlanta, has cleared "the technicality" by directing that a formal letter of transfer be sent to St. Luke's from St. Peter's Church in Rome, Ga., where Dr. Crew was confirmed in October 1961 by the Rt. Rev. R.R. Claiborne.

Dr. Crew said that at no time has he ever asked St. Luke's to address itself in support towards Gay Christians, nor has he ever publicly introduced the subject at Church gatherings here. He said he did once volunteer to the chairperson of the Vestry that he would be willing to explain the national ministry of INTEGRITY, noting that doing so would not be to proselytize, but rather to help remove some of the mystery and suspicion reportedly circulating in the parish. Dr. Crew's letter was never answered, he said.

Dr. Crew said he continues to make his Communion at St. Luke's, with the desire that he and all others will be treated equally, as Children of God.