Adam’s Gift is a memoir. It begins when a gay man’s coming out inspired
me to advocate for the rights and acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and
transgender people in both the church and American society.
The book tells how I overcame the misinformation I’d learned about
homosexuality and how the gay people who became my mentors trans-
formed my fear of homosexuality into compassion. It describes how the
parishioners of two very diﬀerent congregations that I served as pastor, as
well as bishops and church leaders throughout the nation, reacted to my
ministry with gay people, some oﬀering support and others demonstrating
resistance and hostility.
But Adam’s Gift is more than a personal story. It’s a historical marker in
the midst of a movement toward freedom, justice, and equality for lesbian,
gay, bisexual, and transgender people, a movement that is inexorable and
My work on Adam’s Gift began during a walk with my wife, Chris Weedy,
on the beach of Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, in the summer of 1998. It
was her idea that I tell the story that began with Adam in 1984, a story that
was still unfolding when I started to write. It has taken me more than eleven
years to ﬁnish this memoir. Without Chris’s patience and encouragement, I
could not have done it. My gratitude to her is immeasurable.
I’m also grateful to those who read part or all of the manuscript and
gave me honest, helpful critiques: Ceil Cleveland, Bob Dorr, Elliot Engel,
Rich Eychaner, Vic Ferrall, Jerry Footlick, Bill Jenks, Sonia Pabley, Donald
Palmer, Mahan Siler, Dwight Smith, and Mel White. The encouragement