The Rev. Jan Griesinger was ordained in the United Church of Christ (UCC) in 1970. She has worked in the field of campus ministry since that time, first for the World Student Christian Federation and then as the Director of United Campus Ministry at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Griesinger came out in 1977 and has worked as an out lesbian pastor since that time. In 1977, she participated in the UCC Gay Caucus at the UCC General Synod and has continued her leadership in that organization, now the UCC Coalition for LGBT Concerns. She served on the first Coalition Council in the late 70's and early 80's and was Moderator of the Council.
Griesinger was elected the National Coordinator of The Coalition in 1984 and served in that position until 1997. She maintained The Coalition national office, co-published the newsletter, arranged for annual National Gatherings, and served as a spokesperson for The Coalition in national UCC settings.
In 1990, she was a co-founder of Christian Lesbians OUT (CLOUT), a national, ecumenical organization of proudly progressive, actively anti-racist, creatively spiritual, milagro bound out Christian lesbians. She served as the first CLOUT treasurer and has served since 1998 as the CLOUT National Coordinator.
Griesinger served on the first Steering Committee for the National Religious Leadership Roundtable organized by the National Lesbian & Gay Task Force. She has been the National Co-Director for Old Lesbians Organizing for Change (OLOC) for lesbians aged 60 and over since 2004 and previously served on the steering committee for the group. She is also a co-founder of the Susan B.Anthony Memorial UnRest Home Women's Land Trust near Athens, Ohio.
Filmmaker Ann Alter produced a film, No Need to Repent, in 1990 about the ministry, life and politics of Jan Griesinger. This film is distributed by Women Make Movies, 225 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012.
Jan died on December 9, 2022. More biographical information is available in her obituary below.
(This biographical statement provided by Jan Griesinger.)
Biography Date: August, 2002
Journeys That Opened Up the World: Women, Student Christian Movements and Social Justice, 1955-1975 by Sara M. Evans (Rutgers University Press, 2003) includes an account of Jan's early activism.
Jan's obituary in The Athens Messenger, December 19, 2022: https://www.athensmessenger.com/obituaries/jan-griesinger/article_6c9b0559-5315-5c61-b912-53f0d7ae8acf.html
This obituary was published in the March/April 2023 edition of The Lesbian Connection: https://lgbtqreligiousarchives.org/media/profile/jan-griesinger/Jan Griesinger obituary.pdf
United Church of Christ/Congregational Church | CLOUT (Christian Lesbians OUT) | National Gay & Lesbian Task Force | Open and Affirming in the UCC (ONA & formerly UCC Coalition for LGBT Concerns) | Activist (religious institutions) | Clergy Activist | Feminism | Women and Religion | Ohio | Griesinger, Jan | EXHIBIT Rolling the Stone Away
“Rev. Jan Griesinger | Profile”, LGBTQ Religious Archives Network, accessed September 24, 2023, https://lgbtqreligiousarchives.org/profiles/jan-griesinger.