Cathedral of Hope (Dallas)
The Cathedral of Hope (CoH), a member congregation of the United Church of Christ, is an historically and predominantly LGBT congregation located in the Oak Lawn area of Dallas, Texas (United States). The Dallas Cathedral of Hope is said to be the world's largest inclusive "liberal Christian church with a primary outreach to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons", with a membership of over 4,000 local members.
Beginning in 2005 the Cathedral of Hope UCC was led by the Rev. Jo Hudson. On May 19, 2013, Hudson resigned to pursue other ministry opportunities and the Rev. Jim Mitulski became the interim senior pastor on August 1. Hudson followed the Rev. Michael Piazza, who oversaw the largest growth in the church's history, from 250 members to more than 3,000, during the late 1980s and early 1990s, while facing the devastation of the AIDS Crisis. Piazza served as senior pastor for nearly twenty years.
Additional campuses are located in Houston, Mid-Cities, and Oklahoma City. Its national outreach program reaches a further online audience nationwide. The Cathedral of Hope joined the United Church of Christ in February 2007, having previously been the flagship congregation of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches. In November 2011, construction was completed on the Cathedral of Hope's Interfaith Peace Chapel, designed by the prominent architect Philip Johnson (Alan Ritchie Architects). Dedication of the building was on November 7, 2010.
The board of stewards will call a search committee in March 2014 to begin the search process for a permanent senior pastor, following the search and call guidelines of the United Church of Christ.
||This section is in a list format that may be better presented using prose. (July 2010)|
- 1970 – On July 30, 1970, a group of 12 people gathered at a home at 4612 Victor Street in Dallas to discuss establishing a Metropolitan Community Church. In May 1971, the Rev. Richard Vincent was elected as the first pastor of MCC-Dallas. The group worshiped in homes for the first year and a half, using a coffee table as an altar.
- 1972: MCC-Dallas moves into its first church home at 3834 Ross Avenue. The building had been originally build as a small private hospital in the 1920s. In 1974, the Rev. James Harris was elected as the church’s second pastor.
- 1976: On October 4, MCC-Dallas purchases a former Church of Christ building on 2701 Regan. In November 1977, the Rev. Don Eastman was elected as the church’s third pastor. The membership had grown to almost 400.
- 1990: The Rev. Michael Piazza was elected senior pastor in November 1987. Membership grew to 600. In late 1990, MCC-Dallas becomes the Cathedral of Hope to reflect a new broader mission to reach out LGBT people in small towns everywhere with a message of hope. The church begins its “Pink-Period” quest to build a larger church to accommodate a growing congregation.
- 1992: The Cathedral of Hope completed its new church home. The Christmas Eve service was broadcast around the world on CNN. The congregation approached 1,000 members. During 1993 the cathedral grows by a record 300 members.
- 1995: The Cathedral of Hope commissions the prominent architect Philip Johnson to design a new cathedral campus.
- 1998: Membership grew to over 2,300 and the cathedral serves a rapidly growing congregation of more than 3,000. In 1999, CoH-TV begins hosting live Internet worship services via the cathedral’s website.
- 2000: The Cathedral of Hope begins the “Century of Compassion” by donating more than one million dollars in direct assistance and volunteer community support annually. On July 30, 2000, the John Thomas Bell Wall – a National AIDS Memorial is dedicated. On August 6, 2000, nearly 100 people attend the inaugural worship service at Cathedral of Hope – Oklahoma City.
- 2002: On July 28, 2002, the newly completed 22,000-square-foot (2,000 m2) Congregational Life Center is dedicated. Featuring new classrooms for children and youth, renovated office space for Hope Counseling Center and expanded office space for cathedral staff. The close of 2002 saw a local and national membership of nearly 4,000.
- 2003: Terri Frey accuses Michael Piazza of financial impropriety, prompting the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches to open an investigation against him. Believing the investigators had overstepped their bounds, the church's board called for a vote to disaffiliate from the denomination, which passed with 88 percent support, effectively ending the UFMCC investigation.
- 2005: On February 6, the Rev. Jo Hudson is elected senior pastor. The Cathedral of Hope celebrates 35 years of ministry, service, and activism by beginning a capital campaign to build the next phase of Philip Johnson’s campus design: an Interfaith Peace Chapel and give birth to a new non-profit organization, Hope for Peace & Justice. The Rev. Michael Piazza becomes Dean of the cathedral and president of Hope for Peace & Justice.
- 2006: In October, the Cathedral of Hope was granted standing by the North Texas Association of the United Church of Christ as a member congregation of the United Church of Christ (UCC), becoming the fourth largest congregation in the denomination.
- 2009: The Cathedral of Hope began construction of the Interfaith Peace Chapel which was completed in November 2010. The chapel was built almost entirely through loans and left the church with an unmanagebale debt.
- 2010: In July, the Cathedral of Hope celebrated its 40th anniversary.
- "Ideas & Trends; Bias Against Gay People: Hatred of a Special Kind", October 30, 1994, pg. 16. ISSN: 03624331. ProQuest document ID: 116533500. (1400 member in 1994)
- "Cathedral of Hope in Dallas rocked by loss of senior pastor, other key staffers". Dallas Morning News. 3 May 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
- "Women’s People Helping People Project". .cathedralofhope.com. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
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- "Dallas Chapel Brings to Life Johnson's Final Design". Retrieved 6 February 2014.
- Caldwell, John (2003-09-30). "When the rainbow isn't enuf: a disagreement over its gay focus splits the world's largest GLBT denomination from its biggest church". The Advocate (Liberation Publications, Inc.). Retrieved 2010-08-20.