HOUSTON VOICE • JANUARY 21, 2000
Around the Notion 6
President colls for hole crime protection 6
Two AIDS hospice officials face charges 6
Ohio Gov. removes 'sexual orientation'
from bias ban 6
Three women sue magazine for lesbian' photo . 6
Students threatened, beaten for being gay .. 6
High court to hear Scouts challenge 7
Health Briefs 12
Drug giants set Io merge 12
Difficulty in taking cocktail may be main blame 12
New drug may cure common cold 12
Clinton to ask for Si billion for research ... 12
AIDS funding announced for three schools . 12
VOICES & ECHOES
Abel: Muzzling Rocker only treats the symptoms. 8
Alveon Straight couples wiB suffer from MARGE. 9
OUT ON THE BAYOU
Gold & bold 15
Movement and music 15
Out in Print: 'friends S Family' 16
Eating Out: Dipping into Ihe cool saute 17
Lesbian author and her e publishing 20
PFLAG to launch metro-wide campaign 21
Community Calendar 22
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Houston, TX 77006
Resurrection MCC is set to purchase Evangelistic Temple on West 11th for $2.35 million, allowing the city's largest gay church to expand its offerings
and move from its tight quarters on Decatur Street.
Gay church to leave cramped quarters
by KAY DAYUS
After 20 years in the historic Sixth Ward,
Houston's largest gay church, Resurrection
MCC, is on the move to more grand quarters.
Since beginning its ministry in 1972, the
church has been housed in tight quarters at
1909 Decatur St. And it has grown from humble beginnings, first gathering in an apartment, then a rented bicycle shop on Waugh
Drive and next a former printing shop.
The church moved to its first traditional
church building on Decatur Street in 1979.
Having long ago outgrown that location,
church members will soon pack up and move
to a much larger facility at 2025 West 11th St.
Church officials hope to close on the $2.35
million sale, home of the Evangelistic Temple
since 1955, in mid-March.
Because of its ever-growing congregation
and cramped quarters, the church has been
looking for a new home for nearly two
years, said Rev. ]. Dwayne Johnson,
Resurrection MCC's pastor.
The church's current quarters, which seat
about 430 people, is usually outstripped as
weekly attendance has spiked to about 500,
Johnson said. And the facility serves a larger
constituency of over 2,500 people, he said.
Space constraints have in the past
pushed Resurrection MCC's special services, like its Christmas Eve and Easter celebrations, to other facilities.
The Evangelistic Temple has much to offer,
Johnson said, including seating for 1,575 people. It also boasts offices, meeting rooms, two
chapels, a full-immersion baptismal facility, a
large gymnasium, classrooms, a full commercial kitchen and even a bridal dressing room.
"For the first time it will be possible to
have a variety of ministries happening at
the same time," Johnson said.
With the additional space, Johnson hopes
to expand the church's personal counseling, family and education programs. The
extra space also allows for expansion of the
church's bookstore to double in size.
It also means that the church can finally
fully organize and catalogue its extensive
gay and lesbian archive and library of over
"Not many people are aware that
Resurrection is the custodian of the largest
GLBT archives in the state of Texas,"
The archives includes a complete, 26-year
archive of the Houston Voice and other gay
publications, biographies and fiction, as well
as gay and lesbian psychological studies.
The new church will be paid for through
donations from the congregation and community, and from the sale of the current
facility, Johnson said.
The Sixth Ward building, built in 1926 and
listed on the National Register of Historic
Places, went on the market in August 1998,
though it hasn't been sold yet. "We've had
lots of nibbles, but we're still looking for a
bite," Johnson said.
"When we began this task in 1997, we
had no idea it would take this long. We have
since learned that other churches have
taken as much as 10 years to find their new
Church officials hope to close on the sale of
the new property soon enough to hold its
Pride celebrations there in June, he said.
Jan. 29, Feb. 5
2025 W. 11th St.
Women, gays most vulnerable to hate crimes, former cop says
Society and government should escalate
the battle against everyday bias-related incidents, not just the headline-making crimes,
speakers at a city-sponsored conference in
Houston said Thursday.
"Hate must be exposed. It must be
denounced," Mayor Lee Brown said in his
opening remarks. "In the face of hatred, apathy will be seen as acceptance by haters, the
public and, worse, the victims."
The conference, hosted by the city and the
U.S. Justice Department, featured a full day
of speeches and panel discussions dissecting
In a morning address, the sister of East
Texas dragging victim James Byrd Jr. drew a
standing ovation after her emotional plea
for a change in not just laws, but attitudes.
"I tried desperately to put his death in
perspective. That was very difficult. In fact,
it was impossible," Mary Verrett told an
audience of about 400, including many
high school students. "I could not make
sense of his death."
Verrett, of Houston, and others called
upon Texas to pass laws that would
increase penalties for crimes found to
involve bias. An attempt at such legislation
failed last spring.
All three of the white men convicted for
dragging Byrd to death in 1998 outside of
Jasper, Texas, were convicted of capital
murder only because prosecutors proved a
during the slaying. A hate-related murder
in Texas is not automatically grounds for a
Billy Johnston, a former Boston policeman
who regularly speaks about hate crimes,
said the two most vulnerable groups today
are gays and women, because many people
still think it is acceptable to mistreat them.
"Gays are the toughest group to deal
with" in training new police officers
because cadets often aren't interested in
protecting them, Johnston said.
Annise Parker, a longtime local gay
activist recently elected to her second
term as an at-large councilmember,
recounted an incident in which a carload
of young men chased her and her companion through Houston.
Parker also supported hate crime legislation, if for no other reason than symbolism.
"You don't stop this behavior with laws,
but it may send a signal of community outrage," Parker said.
-The Associated Press