Adam's Gift: A Memoir of a Pastor’s Calling to Defy the Church’s Persecution of Lesbians and Gays by Jimmy Creech
Length: 376 pages
Jimmy Creech, a United Methodist pastor in North Carolina, was visited one morning in 1984 by Adam, a longtime parishioner whom he liked and respected. Adam said that he was gay, and that he was leaving The United Methodist Church, which had just pronounced that “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” could not be ordained. He would not be part of a community that excluded him. Creech found himself instinctively supporting Adam, telling him that he was sure that God loved and accepted him as he was. Adam’s Gift is Creech’s inspiring first-person account of how that conversation transformed his life and ministry.Adam’s visit prompted Creech to re-evaluate his belief that homosexuality was a sin, and to research the scriptural basis for the church’s position. He determined that the church was mistaken, that scriptural translations and interpretations had been botched and dangerously distorted. As a Christian, Creech came to believe that discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people was morally wrong. This understanding compelled him to perform same-gender commitment ceremonies, which conflicted with church directives. Creech was tried twice by The United Methodist Church, and, after the second trial, his ordination credentials were revoked. Adam’s Gift is a moving story and an important chapter in the unfinished struggle for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil and human rights.
An inspiring and educational telling of one religious man's journey.
What I read of this was a while ago, so many of the details are fuzzy. I didn't stop because I wasn't enjoying it, but rather because I became somewhat bored with it. Part of this could be my unfamiliarity with autobiographies. He faced many struggles and he overcame as many as he could. I think if I had continued, I would have enjoyed it, but I couldn't entice myself to return to it either. It was fairly well written and interesting, at least the 60% that I read.
There are many parts of this story that would make it ideal for a religious person who was trying to understand homosexuality to read. Obviously the narrator is relatable and the reader gets to witness his progression from standard blinded individual to understanding to advocate.
In some ways this is a painful story to read because the author had to face many difficulties just because he was welcoming to homosexuals. I think it's an interesting comparison to the struggles he relates of the gay people he's known, although (as far as I read and recall) he doesn't make this connection in text. He's doing what he feels is right and while he doesn't like some of the results, he refuses to back down.
I'd definitely recommend picking this up in a library if you can find it, but this will be a must-have for only some readers.