1992 - Manchester, England


I was an intern with the Pentecostal church in Great Britain in 1978. At 22 years of age I thought I was the only gay Pentecostal in the world, until a friend gave me a copy of “The Lord Is My Shepherd And He Knows I’m Gay”. Reading the story of Troy Perry transformed my life, and while it was another seven years before MCC became my home, through his book he opened a new and positive future for my ministry.


Many years later (November 1992 – the night that Windsor Castle burned) I was honored to host Troy in Manchester, England, where we had started a new MCC congregation. It was a historic event as Troy spoke at the majestic city hall that had become our church home.

In the shadow of the city hall stands a statue of Abraham Lincoln, presented to the citizens of Manchester in 1919. In 1862, 98% of all the finished cotton produced world-wide came from Manchester, UK and 9 out every 10 people living in the city worked in the cotton (or related) industries. Despite the fact that the lifeblood of the city depended almost entirely on the cotton industry, the working people of Manchester came together at the Free Trade Hall on 31st December 1862 to express their support for Abraham Lincoln and the Northern States in their fight to abolish slavery. By supporting the Union under President Lincoln at a time when there was an economic blockade of the Southern States, the Lancashire cotton workers were denied access to raw cotton - the lifeblood of the region - which caused considerable unemployment and severe hardship throughout the cotton industry

I recall Troy being so moved by finding this connection. For the years that I remained the pastor we took our annual MCC Memorial Service out to our own Lincoln memorial.



Rev. Paul Whiting

MCC of the Palm Beaches

Florida, USA

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