In All Things Charity
Scope and Contents
Series I contains information on In All Things Charity. Rev. Gregory Dell is the subject of Series II. Series III contains materials relating to the United Methodist Church. Series IV is made up of five boxes of copies of newspaper, magazine and on-line articles relating to gay couples. Series V contains a variety of audio and video tapes which primarily cover Rev. Gregory Dell and his trial. Series VI consists of digital content that was stored on three CDs related to IATC.
- Created: 1996-2005
- Other: Date acquired: 02/16/2001
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Property rights in the collection were transferred to Northern Illinois University Libraries. Literary rights are dedicated to the public, however any copyrights so stated in the materials will continue in force.
Biographical or Historical Information
In 1996 the General Conference of the United Methodist Church voted to maintain its position that although homosexual persons were of “sacred worth” the practice of homosexuality was “incompatible with Christian teaching.” During the final days of that Conference the Reverend Gregory Dell, who had for a number of years been working toward inclusiveness in the church, and the Reverend Susan Davis had an idea for what became In All Things Charity. Fifteen clergy from all across the country joined to sponsor a statement of conscience challenging the exclusionary and bigoted practices of the Methodist Church and affirmed that God’s vision of humanity embraced and celebrated its full diversity. Thousands of clergy and laity signed that statement. The purpose of In All Things Charity was to work toward positive change concerning the issues of inclusiveness and heterosexism at the 2000 General Conference, and the Broadway United Methodist Church of Chicago sponsored the organization as a national ministry.
On September 19, 1998 Reverend Gregory Dell conducted a marriage service for two men from his congregation. The Methodist Church filed charges against him and conducted a trial in Chicago at the end of March 1999. On March 26, 1999 the jury voted 10-3 to find Dell guilty of disobedience to the order and discipline of the United Methodist Church. He was suspended from his duties as pastor of the Broadway UMC from July 3, 1999 to June 30, 2000.
During his time of suspension Rev. Dell served as Director of In All Things Charity, and he worked diligently, speaking throughout the country in behalf of the organization and its mission to lobby the church to become more inclusive at the 2000 General Conference. The Conference was held in May 2000 in Cleveland, Ohio and despite their best efforts and those of like-minded groups such as AMAR, and the Reconciling Congregation Program, the majority of church members failed to agree to make the church more inclusive. Shortly after the conference ended the Steering Committee of In All Things Charity recommended that the organization become a dormant, rather than active, committee of Broadway UMC as of July 1, 2000. On June 30, 2000 both Dell’s suspension as pastor of the Broadway United Methodist Church and his service as Director of In All Things Charity ended. Although the results of the 2000 General Conference were not favorable, the Reconciling Congregation Program of the Methodist Church was given a renewed focus. In October 2000 this group became the Reconciling Ministries Network, with aims to bring the 35% of the Methodist who support full inclusion together. With this in mind, on April 1, 2001 Reverend Gregory Dell wrote a letter to all the supporters of In All Things Charity to notify them that IATC was ending and that all its remaining resources would be transferred to the Reconciling Ministries Network.
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5.50 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
The materials in this collection provide extensive documentation on the organization In All Things Charity and its work towards inclusiveness within the United Methodist Church as a result of the denomination’s stand on same-sex marriage. The primary focus of the collection is Reverend Gregory R. Dell, Pastor of the Broadway United Methodist Church of Chicago and a Director of In All Things Charity, and the United Methodist Church’s response to his officiating at a marriage ceremony for two of his male parishioners in September 1998. The documents in this collection cover the period between 1996 and 2001, and are arranged into five series. Series I contains information on In All Things Charity which Gregory Dell helped start, and served as its Director from July 1999 through June 2000. In addition to a brief history of this organization, there are by-laws, brochures, newsletters, correspondence, fund raising documents, response forms from both clergy and laity, and materials relating to In All Things Charity’s agenda for the 2000 General Conference of the United Methodist Church. Rev. Gregory Dell is the subject of Series II. The majority of this collection focuses on the church trial of Dell which took place in March 1999, and includes transcripts of the trial proceedings as well as the appeal. Much of Gregory Dell’s correspondence and materials on his speaking engagements are related to his work with In All Things Charity. Also located in this series are photographs, articles and documents related to Fred Phelps anti-gay rally at Dell’s Broadway United Methodist Church on November 22, 1998. Series III contains materials relating to the United Methodist Church. Included are documents on the future of Broadway United Methodist Church, Reverend Jimmy Creech, the “Sacramento 69,” the General Conference held in May 2000, and the denomination’s views on homosexuality. Series IV is made up of five boxes of copies of newspaper, magazine and on-line articles relating to gay couples. They cover the period from the summer of 1996 to July 2000. Many of these articles relate to Rev. Dell and services which joined same-sex couples in marriage. Series V contains a variety of audio and video tapes which primarily cover Rev. Gregory Dell and his trial. Also included are six “floppy discs” relating to In All Things Charity, and one on the AMAR (Affirmation, The Methodist Federation for Social Action, and the Reconciling Congregation Program) Coalition. Series VI consists of digital content that was stored on three CDs related to IATC. Files on the disks include databases, templates, scanned letters of support, and emails.
Source of Acquisition
Reverend Gregory R. Dell, Courtney Cosgrove, and Stephen Betzner
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Part of the Northern Illinois University Repository
Founders Memorial Library
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb IL 60115 US