R. Adam DeBaugh has served the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches for over 25 years. He first started attending the Metropolitan Community Church of Washington, D.C., in 1973. He had served as director of the Center for the Study of Power and Peace, an inter-religiously funded international affairs research center in the early 1970s. Then Adam was Administrative Assistant to Congressman Bob Edgar (D. PA) from January until June, 1975. (Dr. Edgar, a Methodist minister, is now head of the National Council of Churches.)
At the end of June, 1975, Adam and the Rev. Roy Birchard started the UFMCC Washington Field Office on Capitol Hill, becoming Director in 1976. As head of the Washington Field Office he was the first person to lobby the United States Congress full time for Gay and Lesbian civil rights.
He served on the Board of Directors of the Gay Rights National Lobby for its entire existence and hosted GRNL staff in the UFMCC Washington Office for the first few years.
In late 1975 he was named Director of the UFMCC Department of Christian Social Action, which position he held until 1986. As Director of Christian Social Action and of the Washington Office he traveled extensively throughout the UFMCC, visiting, speaking, and preaching at over 100 churches throughout the U.S., and supervised the Christian Social Action programs of the denomination.
In 1979 he and the Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson were named the first co-directors of the new Department of Ecumenical Relations and in 1981 Adam wrote the UFMCC's original application for membership in the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S. With Elder Wilson he supervised the first triennium of dialogue with the NCCC through 1984, when he stepped down from the ecumenical work of the Fellowship.
In October, 1983, he was elected District Coordinator of the Mid-Atlantic District, only the second lay person to hold the position of District Coordinator in the UFMCC. (In the UFMCC, the District Coordinator is somewhat analogous to a Bishop in other church polities, having episcopal, pastoral and administrative responsibilities. The Mid-Atlantic District covered six states and the District of Columbia.) He served on the UFMCC General Council (the governing body of the denomination) from its inception in 1985 until his retirement as District Coordinator in June 1992.
In 1990 the Mid-Atlantic District Committee, recognizing Mr. DeBaugh's gifts in the areas of writing, editing, and publishing, granted his application for Special Work status for Chi Rho Press, a Gay and Lesbian Christian publishing house. He decided not to stand for re-election as District Coordinator when his term expired in June 1992, in order to follow God's clear call on his life to devote his energies to the ministry of Chi Rho Press.
A committed lay person, Adam DeBaugh is an accomplished writer, speaker, workshop leader, and preacher. He served on the Board of Directors of the Washington Blade newspaper in the early 1970's, and on the Board of Directors of Emmaus House of Prayer, another Special Work of the Mid-Atlantic District. He has served on the Board of Trustees of the Fund for Overcoming Racism, a scholarship fund for people of color who are studying for the UFMCC clergy ministry. He was a member of the board of directors of Among Friends, Inc., a non-profit Washington area agency that provides transitional services to Gay and Lesbian people in crisis.
He has written a number of booklets, including Writing to Congress and The Least of These: A Christian Social Action Bible Study on Matthew 25, which are currently distributed by Chi Rho Press. He is a contributor to the books The Road to Emmaus and Positively Gay. Currently an active member of Holy Redeemer MCC, College Park, Maryland, he is single and lives in Montgomery Village, Maryland.
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