Church of the Village (Metropolitan-Duane United Methodist Church)
In 1973, Metropolitan-Duane United Methodist Church church hosted the first formal meeting of "The pArents of Gays,' an organization that is today known as Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. The organization began when Jeanne Manford decided to march alongside her son Morty at the Christopher Street Liberation March. After many other marchers asked Manford to speak to her parents, Manford recognized the need for a support organization to help encourage parents to understand and eventually join her in publicly supporting their gay and lesbian children.
Backstory and Context
Reverend C. Edward Egan, Jr., an openly gay minister, led the congregation from 1971 to 1977. While Methodist residents of the Village supported Egan, leaders of the Methodist Church forced him to retire early owing to his sexual orientation. Thanks to his leadership in these years, PFLAG went from a small support group to a national organization with hundreds of chapters. Egan also opened the church to other support groups with flavorful names such as the "Salsa Soul Sisters," a support group for gay Latina and African American women.