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
June 8, 1937 – October 19, 1986
Fr. James Markunas was a graduate of Detroit’s Cody High School and Albion College. While serving as associate rector of St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church in Detroit, Fr. Markunas was arrested for peaceably demonstrating after the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 49.
Bay Area Reporter, October 23, 1986
March 22, 1959 – August 31, 2015
Ordained into the priesthood in 2007, Rev. Karen Johanns moved to Michigan in 2008 to become rector at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Pontiac, a position she held until cancer forced her into “grouchy” retirement. Johanns was survived by her wife Claire Dodds.
Oakland Press, September 2, 2015
January 19, 1911 – February 8, 2004
Rev. Anne Garrison was a longtime ally who joined Michigan State University campus ministries after retiring as a business professor. She served on the bishop’s committee that produced a pioneering 1973 report that recommended greater inclusions for gay people within the Michigan Diocese of the Episcopal Church.
Detroit Free Press, February 17. 2004
January 13, 1949 – November 24, 2015
A graduate of Oakland University, Rev. Rod Reinhart left teaching to attend divinity school and became one of the nation’s first openly gay priests ordained in the Episcopal Church. He helped found the annual ecumenical worship service People Who Care About People with AIDS.
Between The Lines, December 3, 2015
February 8, 1944 – May 14, 2013
Jo Ellen Ploeger worked as a physical therapy technician and served as a longtime member and deacon with the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit.
Between The Lines, May 23, 2013
Remembering an Extraordinary Soul
January 25, 1928 – July 21, 2007
Rabbi Sherwin Wine, founder of the Birmingham Temple and the Humanistic Judaism movement, hosted a monthly gathering of closeted gay professionals called the First Sunday Group that provided discreet financial support to more public LGBTQ activism in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
New York Times, July 25, 2007