Title: Don't Be Afraid Any More
Author: Troy Perry
Publisher: St. Martin's Press, New York
This book is written by Troy Perry, the founder of the Metropolitan Community Churches. Troy Perry grew up in the Pentecostal and Baptist faith traditions. He was a pastor in the Church of God. Troy Perry was excommunicated for being gay. After he was asked to leave the Church of God, Troy Perry went on to found a church for people who were not welcome in most Christian churches. The church he planted in 1968 became the first parish in the Metropolitan Community Churches, a denomination Troy Perry pioneered. From very humble beginnings in 1968, the Metropolitian Community Churches can now be found in over 18 countries.
The book outlines some of the struggles that Troy Perry faced as a result of being gay and the tremendous obstacles the Metropolitan Community Churches overcame. Perry shares the personal struggles some pioneers in the Metropolitan Community Churches faced. Portions of the book are powerful and moving. Troy lost his family when they learned he was gay. One of the most moving stories in the book is the story of when Troy Perry's youngest son, who had not seen his father since he was about 18 months old found his father, came to church and heard his father preach.
As one reads about the pioneering days of the Metropolitan Community Churches, one can see the need for gay rights. MCC congregations and members have been subjected to things such as being locked out of facilities they were renting during the winter, churches burning to the ground, arson that claimed the lives of church members, being denied use of church facilities to hold a memorial service and cross burnings.
This book is a moving read and should be on the "must read" list for all pastors and church leaders, gay and straight.