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Friday, December 08, 2006

Happy Birthday, Louie Crew!

Dr. Louie Crew to mark his 70th birthday on December 9th.

Happy birthday, darling. Like vintage wine, you just keep getting better, richer and more robust.

(The following biographical statement is posted at the LGBT Religious Archives Network )

Dr. Louie Crew was born in the deep South in 1936. He received his B.A. degree from Baylor University, his M.A. degree in 1959 from Auburn and his Ph.D. from the University of Alabama in 1971. His dissertation was entitled "Dickens' Use of Language for Protest." In his career Crew has taught in England, Hong Kong, and China, as well as at colleges in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Chicago in this country. He became Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University in 1989 and retired from that position in 2002.

In 1974, Louie Crew founded the national organization for gay and lesbian Episcopalians known as Integrity. He served as editor of Integrity's newsletter from 1974 to 1977. He also co-founded the lesbigay caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English in 1975. He served on the board of directors of the National Gay Task Force (now National Gay and Lesbian Task Force) from 1976 to 1978. He also served on the Wisconsin Governor's Council on Lesbian and Gay Issues in 1983.

Crew's publishing activity is voluminous, from article to essays, from poetry to full length books. He wrote the first openly gay materials published in Change Magazine, Christianity & Crisis, Chronicle of Higher Education, The Churchman, Fellowship Magazine, The Living Church, Metanoia and Southern Exposure. He has been on the editorial board of the Journal of Homosexuality since 1978 (except for 1984 to 1988). He edited A Book of Revelations: Lesbian and Gay Episcopalians Tell Their Own Stories, a collection of 52 biographies, in 1991. His most recent publication is 101 Reasons to Be Episcopalian (Morehouse Publishers).

Dr. Crew has been a member of Grace Church in Newark, New Jersey, since 1989 and has served as a member of the vestry, a deputy to diocesan convention and as a member of the rector search committee. In the Diocese of Newark, Crew was a member of the Companion Diocese Committee with Hong Kong, a member and chair of the Task Force on Electronic Technology, a member and secretary of the Standing Committee, a member of the Cathedral Chapter, a member of the Task Force on Minority Vendors, a member of the Resolutions Committee, a member and secretary of the Bishop Coadjutor Nominating Committee, a member of the Diocesan Council, the Diocesan Historiographer, a member of the Oasis Board, Co-Chair of the Oasis Search Committee, and a member of the Task Force on Episcopal Identity.

The Diocese of Newark elected him on four occasions (1994, 1997, 2000 and 2003) as a deputy to the General Convention of the Episcopal Church. The General Convention, in turn, elected Crew to serve on its 38-member Executive Council from 2000-2006. He was also secretary of the Committee on Social and Urban Affairs and an appointed member of the Standing Commission on Health and Human Affairs, a commission that deals with all the hot button issues from abortion to genetic engineering to all questions regarding human sexuality.

Louie Crew was recognized nationally by having a scholarship bearing his name established at Episcopal Divinity School and that institution also conferred upon him an honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree in 1999. He was the recipient of the Bishops Cross from the Rt. Rev. John Shelby Spong, Diocese of Newark, in 2000.

Louie has lived with his partner, Ernest Clay, in a relationship of love, mutuality and life commitment for 31 years.

1 comment:

Mary Jane Herron said...

I first knew Louie Crew as a poet and Rutgers professor who inspired my daughter and other young ones in high schools across the state to keep writing their poetry with his wonderful yearly gatherings for them. Then, as I became active in the Episcopal Church, I was delighted to find that this elegant and lovely man was a leader there as well!Happy Birthday, dear Louie.