Piazza, Reverend Michael Oral History Interview
Span Dates: 2007
Volume: 3 cassette tapes and transcript
Interview with Reverend Michael Piazza, pastor of the Dallas Cathedral of Hope, concerning his conversion from Catholicism to Methodist Church; decision to enter the ministry; process of "coming out" to self and family; college experiences at Georgia Southern University and Valdosta State university; experience at Oral Roberts University and Candler School of Theology at Emory University; experience of pastoring small-town Methodist churches ins South Georgia; effects of the Civil Rights movement and anti-war protest of the 1960s and 70s on his developing social consciousness; development of the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) and the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC) denominations; volunteer work with Atlanta Gay Center Helpline; work as pastor of an Atlanta Methodist church, associate pastor of MCC Atlanta and pastor of MCC Jacksonville, Fla.; receiving "call" to pastor MCC Dallas; arrival in Dallas in midst of localized economic depression brought on by savings and loan crisis; family life with Bill Eure and two children; efforts to deal with AIDS crisis; difficulties the church congregation faced when he arrived; process of changing church's name to Cathedral of Hope; development of Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance and Nelson-Tebedo AIDS Resource Center; difficulty finding creditors to finance new church buildings; demographics of Cathedral of Hope; congregation; decision to leave UFMCC and affiliate with United Church of Christ denomination; development of outreach and social justice ministries.
Interview conducted in 2007 for the Texas Community History (Dallas County) Oral History Project. Interviewer: Michael Mims.
Reverend Michael Piazza, pastor of the Dallas Cathedral of Hope, attended Georgia Southern University, Valdosta State University, and Candler School of Theology at Emory University. He served as pastor in numerous Methodist churches in Georgia and Florida, witnessing the Civil Rights movement and anti-war protest of the 1960s. He became pastor of MCC Atlanta, MCC Jacksonville, FL, MCC Dallas. In the latter, changing the name to Dallas Cathedral of Hope, the church grew to over 3,000.
He married and raised two children with Bill Eure. His published books include "Liberating the Gospel"; "Liberating Word, A Daily Reflection for Liberals, Volume One: The First Testament"; "Gay by God: How to be Lesbian or Gay and Christian" (formerly "Holy Homosexuals"); "Queeries: Questions Lesbians and Gays have for God"; "The Real antiChrist: How America Sold its Soul"; "Prophetic Renewal: Hope for the Liberal Church," designed to help restore vitality to liberal congregations; and "Liberating Hope: Daring to Renew the Mainline Church" co-written with the Rev. Cameron Trimble. Trimble is co-director with Piazza of the Center for Progressive Renewal.
A catalog record of the interview is available.
This interview is part of the University of North Texas Oral History Program Collection, dated 1964 - Present.
Activist (religious institutions) | Methodist (UMC, United Methodist Church) | MCC | Dallas | Texas | Georgia | AIDS | United Church of Christ/Congregational Church | Piazza, Michael | Civil Rights Movement