Rev. Elder Darlene Garner will serve as Vice-Moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches for 2009.
In announcing the appointment, Rev. Elder Nancy L. Wilson, MCC moderator, said, "Rev. Elder Garner has a long and distinguished history of service within Metropolitan Community Churches and enjoys the full, enthusiastic and unanimous support and trust of the MCC Board of Elders."
The announcement marks Rev. Garner's second appointment as MCC Vice-Moderator, having been named first to the position for the 2008 calendar year.
"Rev. Garner brings a broad range of experience to the role of MCC Vice-Moderator," Wilson added, "including service as a local church pastor, non-profit organization executive, long-time activist, and conference convener, as well as expertise in race relations, risk management, and MCC's By-laws."
Rev. Elder Garner currently ministers as the Regional Elder serving MCC Region 6. As Vice-Moderator, she is a member of the MCC Leadership Team, and represents the Moderator upon request, including with MCC partners such as The Fellowship and in public forums. She leads the MCC Congruence Team, monitoring the work of the Elders and the denominational budget process. She is leading a revision of the denominational judiciary process and heads the MCC By-laws Team, is the Clergy Judicial Officer and also coordinates MCC's efforts to address homophobia in the traditional Black church and race relations within MCC.
Darlene's ministry and leadership are significant factors in MCC's current growth and expansion across Latin America.
A Brief Biography
Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Rev. Elder Darlene Garner was baptized into the National Baptist Church at the age of seven and joined the Episcopal Church as a young adult.
She came out as a lesbian in 1973 and joined MCC Washington (DC) in 1976. Darlene served MCCDC as church treasurer and lay delegate and later served MCC's former Mid-Atlantic District as assistant district coordinator.
Rev. Elder Garner received her clergy credentials in 1988. She has served as associate pastor of MCC Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), pastor of MCC Baltimore (Maryland), and senior pastor of MCC of Northern Virginia. She is the convener of the biannual MCC Conference for People of African Descent.
Before entering the professional ministry, Rev. Elder Garner was executive director of the Philadelphia Mayor's Commission on Sexual Minorities.
Darlene is a founding co-chair of the National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays and chaired the first International Conference for Gay and Lesbian People of Color.
She has served as the chaplain for an AIDS hospice and as president of the board of Northern Virginia AIDS Ministry.
Darlene has also served as a member of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (hearing complaints of discrimination based on sexual orientation, race, gender, and national origin) and the West Hollywood Business License Commission.
Rev. Elder Darlene Garner was elected to the Board of Elders of Metropolitan Community Churches in 1993 and also served two years as the Global Outreach representative and resource person for Africa.
Under MCC's By-laws, the Vice-Moderator is appointed by the Moderator from among the regional elders and serves for a one-year appointment. From the MCC By-laws:
The MCC Vice-Moderator
- Serves as a member of the MCC Leadership Team (composed of the Moderator, Vice-Moderator, Chair of the Board of Administration, Executive Director and, currently, the retiring Vice Moderator), which coordinates the work of MCC's two Boards;
- Provides special collegial support to the Moderator in managing the work of the Board of Elders;
- Moderates Board of Elders meetings at the request of or in the absence of the Moderator;
- May serve as a public spokesperson for Metropolitan Community Churches, upon the request of the Moderator.
Metropolitan Community Churches