About the Conference

Rolling The Stone Away honored elders, saints and prophets from all generations, and marked the ground-breaking achievements, learning exness, and often painful sacrifices these leaders have made in religious organizations over the past five decades. The next generations were in the house and shined a light on what comes next.

The goals of this gathering

  1. To bring together a large cross-section of early leaders of LGBT Christian leaders to tell their stories and preserve their valuable histories.
  2. To engage in dialogue with present-day LGBT Christian leaders to illumine how the past informs future directions.
  3. To raise the public visibility of LGBT Christian movements, their profound impact upon social and religious institutions and exness-trade.my/education/


Ecumenical Planning Team

In the spring 2016 the LGBT Religious Archives Network invited LGBT Christian groups to name persons to an ecumenical planning team. This team has worked together since the summer to shape this diverse gathering to preserve, celebrate and learn from the history of LGBTQIA justice groups and activists.


Barbara Crabtree

Barbara Crabtree has been a member of MCC for more than 25 years and Director of Operations since June 2009. Prior to joining MCC leadership team, Barb was Vice President and Senior Consultant at a large market research firm, leading global brand management studies for Fortune 100 companies. As Director of Operations, Barb is responsible for MCC General Conferences and events, Financial Operations and corporate business operations. Barb first joined MCC at Open Arms MCC in Rochester, NY. Over the past 25+ years, she has served several MCC churches in the United States as a member of the Board of Directors, served as Assistant District Coordinator in the former Northeast District, and served on MCC’s Board of Administration. She currently lives in Gainesville, Florida, USA with her wife, Rev. Catherine Dearlove. Barb holds a MBA in Operations Management and Marketing from the William Simon Graduate School of Business, University of Rochester (New York) and a BS in Applied Science from Miami University (Ohio).


Scholarly Advisory Group

John D’Emilio

John D’Emilio, who retired in 2014, continues to research and write about the U.S. since World War II, social movements, and the history of sexuality. A pioneer in the field of gay and lesbian studies, he is the author or editor of more than half a dozen books, including Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities: the Making of a Homosexual Minority in the United States (University of Chicago Press, 2nd ed., 1998); Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America, with Estelle Freedman (University of Chicago Press, 2nd ed., 1997); Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin (Free Press, 2003), a National Book Award finalist; and The World Turned: Essays on Gay History, Politics, and Culture (Duke University Press, 2002).  An expanded 25th anniversary 3rd edition of Intimate Matters is slated for publication in January 2013.

D’Emilio has won fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities; was a finalist for the National Book Award; and received the Brudner Prize from Yale University for lifetime contributions to gay and lesbian studies. A former co-chair of the board of directors of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, he was also the founding director of its Policy Institute. Intimate Matters was quoted by Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy in the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas case, the historic decision that declared state sodomy statutes unconstitutional.

When not working, he watches old movies, solves sudoku puzzles, and searches for New York-style pizza in Chicago.


Obie Holmen

I am a writer.

In 2010, A Wretched Man, a novel of Paul the apostle, was released. In January 2014, Pilgrim Press, the oldest publishing house in America, published my latest book: Queer Clergy: A History of Gay and Lesbian Ministry in American Protestantism, which was a 2015 finalist for a Minnesota Book Award. A series of short stories based upon my Vietnam experience was originally released as Prowl, but new chapters have been added and re-released as Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand: A Vietnam Soldier’s Story. Through it all, I have blogged here, and hundreds of archived articles are regularly accessed through web searches.

That’s my recent history. Here’s my background.

I have deep midwestern roots in Scandinavian Lutheranism. Raised in Upsala, Minnesota, in the heart of Lake Wobegon country, I participated in many activities in my small K-12 school. I truly had a golden childhood.

In the fall of ’66, I matriculated at Dartmouth College. In ’69-70 I served as an Army Ranger in Vietnam, receiving a pair of bronze stars for valor in combat. After discharge, I returned to Dartmouth and obtained my BA degree in ’72 with distinction as a history major, summa cum laude during my senior year.

Then, it was back to Minnesota and law school. I received a JD degree from the University of Minnesota in ’75, and entered the private practice of law in St. Cloud, Minnesota as a civil trial attorney for the next twenty four years, retiring in ’99 to pursue a business opportunity in Caribbean tourism. In the early 90’s, I spent a couple of years, part-time, as a graduate student with the Benedictines of St John’s School of Theology in nearby Collegeville, Minnesota. It was then that I first considered a novel about Paul, and the idea festered until I finally put pen to paper a few years ago, resulting in the publication of A Wretched Man in 2010.

My wife and I are lifelong Lutherans with involvement on the progressive side of ELCA political skirmishes. After volunteering for Goodsoil, an LGBT advocacy coalition at the historic 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, my blog, Spirit of a Liberal, became a leading voice in support of the gay-friendly policies adopted by the ELCA. Queer Clergy: A History of Gay and Lesbian Ministry in American Protestantism had its genesis in the ELCA actions of 2009 and the aftermath.

I have been married to Lynn for over forty years, and we have three adult children and two granddaughters.


Johari Jabir

Johari Jabir (Ph. D., University of California Santa Barbara ) is an Associate Professor of African American Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Research Interests

My teaching and scholarship is influenced by my work as a musical artist. I enjoy using music as an epistemological frame in all of my courses including “Introduction to African American Studies” (AAST100), “African American Religious Traditions” (AAST120), “African American History since 1877” (AAST248), and “Black Music History & Culture” (AAST262).

I am also studying the Black Barbershop Quartet singing phenomenon at the turn of the century; gospel blues tradition of the early and mid 20th century; the role of music and cosmology in the work of James Baldwin; and the Civil Rights protest songs of Nina Simone.

A native of St. Louis, Missouri, I was educated in the public school system. I began to study music at a very young age, and was steeped in the St. Louis school of gospel blues led by Willie Mae Ford Smith and Rev. Cleophus Robinson. Continuing my study of music received my B/A in music from Fontbonne College (now Fontbonne University). After an extensive professional career in church music and musical theatre, I attended the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA. where I received an MDiv. During my PhD work at the University of California Santa Barbara, I was able to formulate the intellectual aspect of my work as a creative artist. My teaching, scholarship, and musical performances are all part of an organic project of music, history, teaching, and learning about the Black diasporic experience.

My first book Conjuring Freedom: Music and Masculinity in the Civil War’s “Gospel Army” analyzes the songs of the 1st South Carolina Volunteers, a regiment of Black soldiers who met nightly in the performance of the ring shout.


Monique Moultrie

Monique Moultrie (Ph.D., Vanderbilt University) is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Georgie State University. Dr. Moultrie’s scholarly pursuits include projects in sexual ethics, African American religious traditions, and gender and sexuality studies. She just returned from an academic leave spent at Harvard University as a Ford Foundation postdoctoral fellow.  She was also selected to receive the Dean’s Early Career Award, and was recently a participant in a Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Religion workshop. Outside of the university, Dr. Moultrie is a consultant for the National Institutes of Health and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender-Religious Archives Network.

Her forthcoming research project is a book manuscript focused on African American religious media and women’s sexual agency that will be published by Duke University Press. Other recent projects include a co-edited volume A Guide for Women in Religion: Making Your Way from A to Z, 2nd edition (Palgrave Macmillan 2014); a chapter “Critical Race Theory,” in Religion: Embodied Religion edited by Kent Brintnall (Palgrave Macmillan 2016): 341-358; and an article “After the Thrill is Gone: Married to the Holy Spirit but Still Sleeping Alone,” in Pneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies 33 (2011): 237-253.

Her next project is a book length study of black lesbian religious leadership and faith activism, and she has in press “Interrogating the Passionate and Pious: Televangelism and Black Women’s Sexuality,” in The Sexual Politics of Black Churches (Columbia University Press). Within the larger American Academy of Religion guild, Dr. Moultrie is the Status of Women in the Profession Chair and a former co-chair of the Religion and Sexuality unit.



Anthony Petro

Anthony Petro (Ph.D., Religion, Princeton University) is an assistant professor at Boston University, in the Department of Religion and in the Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program. His teaching and research interests include religion and culture in the United States; religion, medicine, and public health; and gender and sexuality studies. His first book, After the Wrath of God: AIDS, Sexuality, and American Religion (Oxford, 2015), investigates the history of U.S. American religious responses to the AIDS crisis and their role in the promotion of a national moral discourse on sex. He has published essays on a number of topics, including histories of Catholic sexual abuse, critical disability studies and religion, and approaches to studying race, gender, and sexuality in North American religion.

Petro is currently developing two projects that engage questions about religion and secularism, the cultural politics of morality, and religious formations of bodies in the modern U.S. The first examines the history of American Christian engagements with health and disability policy in the U.S. since the 1950s. It demonstrates how Christian leaders and activists have shaped cultural understandings of health and moral citizenship through debates about topics such as alcoholism, end of life care, disability rights, vaccination, abortion, and the war on drugs. His second project, “The Queer Arts of American Religion,” examines how a range of feminist and queer artists have engaged religious themes and rituals in their work since the 1960s. It explores how this archive of visual and performance art helps us to rethink key categories in the study of religion and in gender and sexuality studies.

Before coming to BU, Petro served as an assistant professor / faculty fellow in NYU’s Program in Religious Studies. For the last five years, he has co-chaired an interdisciplinary seminar called “Global Perspectives on Religion and HIV/AIDS” for the American Academy of Religion.



Heather White

Heather White (Ph.D., Princeton University) is Visiting Assistant Professor in Religion and Queer studies at the University of Puget Sound, with a joint appointment in the Department of Religious Studies and the Gender & Queer Studies Program. Professor White is a specialist in American Religions with a research focus on sexuality, gender, and twentieth century social movements.

Her first book, Reforming Sodom: Protestants and the Rise of Gay Rights was published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2015. The book has been featured in Huffington Post, Religion and Politics, the L.A. Review of Books, and Religion Dispatches, and it was listed in the top ten “best LGBT nonfiction of 2015” by the Bay Area Reporter. She is also co-editing an anthology (with Gillian Frank and Bethany Moreton), titled Devotions and Desires: Religion and Sexuality in the Twentieth Century United States.  Professor White has given invited talks and keynote lectures at the Birkbeck Institutes at the University of London, Otterbein University in Ohio, and Columbia University. She serves on the advisory board of the LGBT Religious Archive Network, and is a steering committee member of the Queer Studies in Religion group of the American Academy of Religion.

At the University of Puget Sound, she teaches courses on twentieth century religion and queer politics, the history of Christianity and sexuality, religion in America, Introduction to Gender, Queer and Feminist Studies, well as other classes in gender, feminist and queer studies.


Conference Staff

Conference Coordinator
Mark Bowman

Mark Bowman has been the coordinator of the LGBT Religious Archives Network since its inception in 2001. He first became publicly involved in Affirmation: United Methodists for LGBT Concerns in 1980. He played a key role in the founding of the Reconciling Congregation Program (now Reconciling Ministries Network) in www.exness-trade.my/education and later executive director until 1999. Through the publication of the quarterly magazine Open Hands Mark was instrumental in building ecumenical connections and partnerships in the Welcoming Church Movement. He served as staff coordinator for the WOW 2000 and WOW 2003 Conferences. He lives in Chicago where he is a part-time church musicians and juggles a number of part-time projects in LGBT or church networks.

Conference Assistant
Lauren Bennett

Lauren Bennett serves Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) as the Conference/Meeting Coordinator which includes co-leading MCC’s triennial General Conference. She attends Wesley Theological Seminary, pursuing a Master in Divinity and is in process for ordination with MCC. On Sunday, she attends MCCDC where she co-leads a monthly worship service that moves around the downtown area. In her free time she likes being outside, reading, and drinking coffee.

Development Coordinator
Ryan Hoffmann

Ryan Hoffmann has worked in marketing, communications, and development with several Catholic organizations and brings a wealth of creativity, energy, and experience to this position.  Originally from Iowa, Ryan earned a Masters in Higher Education at Iowa State University and completed a Masters in Spirituality at Loyola University Chicago in 2008. He’s currently studying at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago where he’ll begin the Doctor of Ministry program this fall.

Website Manager
Carl Foote

A web developer by day and a musician by night, Carl Foote has been with LGBT-RAN since the beginning.

Communications Coordinator
Linda Brenner

Linda L. Brenner is an Associate Director for Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) and sets and guides the communications strategy for a diverse, international population. Before joining the MCC staff, Linda was a high school journalism teacher, adjunct instructor for international students in the English as a Second Language program, and educational director in a psychiatric boarding school. Linda and her wife, Susie Brenner, have a nationally touring music/storytelling ministry. Linda enjoys graphic design, photography, and editing her wife’s memoir.

Audio-Visual Manager
AhSa-Ti Nu Tyehimba-Ford

AhSa-Ti Nu Tyehimba-Ford has served in the San Francisco Bay area as a sound engineer, audio-visual technician, instructor and vocalist for the past 13 years. An Ohio native, AhSa-Ti earned a BA in Sound Arts from Ex’pression College in Emeryville, CA. With a dedication to creativity, positive energy and integrity, AhSa-Ti strives to be the bridge between the message and the listener.