Jim Beates

Jim Beates pic

December 9, 1954 – June 13, 1999

Raised in a military family, Rev. James Joseph Beates earned his theology degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.  He moved to Michigan from West Falls, New York and lived in Detroit and Garden City.  Beates was the first openly gay pastor to serve in the Presbytery of Detroit and was active in Friends Alliance.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 44.

Detroit Free Press, June 16, 1999

Cruise, June 23, 1999

Shearon Dudley

Shearon Dudley pic

April 30, 1924 – October 31, 1989

Navy veteran and 1954 University of Michigan graduate Shearon Dudley was a 36-year-old Ypsilanti resident when he was charged in November 1959 with attempting to procure gross indecency as part of an undercover police crackdown on homosexual activity at UM.  Married with six children, he had a career in marine biology and later became a minister in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Obituary unknown

H. Coleman McGehee

Coleman McGehee pic

July 7, 1923 – March 14, 2013

The Rt. Rev. H. Coleman McGehee of Bloomfield Hills served as bishop the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan from 1973 to 1990.  A leading ally of the LGBTQ community for more than four decades, McGehee served on the Advisory Board for the Triangle Foundation and ordained some of the first openly gay priests in the Episcopal Church.

Between The Lines, March 21, 2013

Mark Bidwell

Mark Bidwell pic

December 28, 1958 – January 3, 2012

Born in Pontiac, Mark George Bidwell earned his bachelor’s at Lawrence Technological University.  He also attended SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary and earned a master’s in pastoral ministry at the Samaritan Institute of Sunshine Cathedral.  In 1989, Bidwell joined the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit, rose to the position of deacon, and later served as senior pastor until his resignation in 2011.

Between The Lines, January 20, 2012

Janine Denommé

Janine Denomme pic

February 17, 1965 – May 17, 2010

Janine Denommé was born in Detroit and majored in religious studies at the University of Detroit Mercy.  She later earned her doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania and served as director of youth programs at the Center on Halsted in Chicago.  In April 2010, Denommé fulfilled a lifelong dream and was ordained by the Roman Catholic Womenpriests contrary to the Church’s ban on women priests.

Huffington Post, May 19, 2010

Detroit News, May 28, 2010

Elegy for Janine Denommé

Thomas Shaw

Thomas Shaw pic

August 28, 1945 – October 17, 2014

Marvil Thomas Shaw III was born in Battle Creek, grew up in Coldwater, and attended Alma College.  A celibate gay monk ordained into the priesthood in 1971, Shaw became Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts in 1995.  Throughout his tenure, he advocated for minority rights, for allowing women, gay men, and lesbians to be ordained, and for other causes of social justice.

Bay Windows, October 23, 2014

Prophet Jones

Prophet Jones pic

November 24, 1907 – August 12, 1971

James Francis Jones, better known as Prophet Jones, was a nationally renowned religious leader in Detroit famed for his flamboyance and fantastical predictions.  In 1956, he was arrested for allegedly making an “indecent proposal” to an undercover vice officer.

The Advocate, September 15-28, 1971