Roger Wedell

Roger Wedell

The Edmond Trinity Christian Church in Oklahoma City became the second Disciples of Christ Church in the state to become open and affirming, according to the Daily Oklahoman. There are 170 churches in the denomination within the state.

It’s curious why this story has been all over the gay blogs, however. Midway Hills Christian Church in Dallas is a member of the denomination as well. According to member Roger Wedell, his church joined the Gay and Lesbian Affirming Disciples (GLAD) Alliance in 1992. And they were fairly late in actually aligning themselves with GLAD.

“Well, that’s when we took the vote,” he said.

The movement in the denomination began about 1976 but Midway Hills has welcomed everyone since its founding in the 1950s.

“Gays and lesbians have been in leadership throughout our history,” Wedell said.

The church was one of the few places that welcomed Turtle Creek Chorale to rehearse when the group organized 32 years ago and P-FLAG Dallas formed there in the early ’90s.

So what took so long for the church to officially become open and affirming, Wedell said, was simply taking the vote. There wasn’t a need before that, he said, but finally, the church decided to become a witness to the community and to make sure anyone looking for an open and affirming church would find Midway Hills more easily.

The history of Edmund Trinity appears to be similar. The vote to become GLAD-affiliated followed a history of welcoming a diverse community that included two years of study of the treatment of gays and lesbians in the church.

Wedell said things in the Christian Church, as it’s known, are done on a congregational level. Midway Hills was and apparently remains at the forefront in the denomination on the subject of LGBT inclusion. Only about 100 of the denomination’s 3,600 churches nationwide are open and affirming through the GLAD alliance.