Agony in the Garden: The Story of a Gay Minister

Howard Hannon, Author
Howard Hannon, Author OutWrite Pub. $12.95 (225p) ISBN 978-1-887092-01-2
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
Heartbreak, spiritual tenacity and faith transformation earmark this unusual blend of memoir, confession and scriptural exegesis by a Presbyterian clergyman who realized he was gay after ordination and marriage but remained in the closet and with his accepting wife until their children became adults. Hannon's candid self-revelations, however, are made more moving by being enveloped within a larger story of a congregation's remarkable turnaround, and under his guidance. After leaving Wisconsin, Hannon arrived at a small, traditional church in Coos Bay, Ore., in the turbulent 1960s. The former fundamentalist set his fellow congregants on a rocky, 14-year course during which both he and they replaced submissiveness to a deadingly distant ""God-up-there"" with a socially engagedfaith centered on the living Jesus. Hannon offers excerpts from his theologically well-versed sermons, and these shed light on his struggles. By the time he announced his same-sex orientation to his congregation, he was met with understanding, although an unapproving Presbytery has hampered his search for further assignments. (Sept.)
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