MCC Lubbock was born in June of 1980 when Bonnie Nowlin, Victor Belt, Bob Compton, Carl Fogleman, Tony Palmer, Tom Swift, and Billy Tobias met together at Tony and Victor’s home. They wanted freedom to worship as they had been created, and they agreed the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC) offered the best vehicle for filling that purpose. Subsequently, we received our charter status from UFMCC in 1985.
Following meeting in Tony and Victor’s home, we have rented space at the Universalist Unitarian Church at 2801 42nd Street until 1983, rented space at 7516 Avenue H, Suite C just off Tahoka Highway until 1985, purchased our own property including a parsonage at 5501-05 34th Street until 1995, and own our current property at 4501 University Avenue.
Important to our history are our leaders. We have been led by Bill Coulter (1982-1983), Reverend “Rickie” Richards and Reverend Susan Kliebenstein (1983-1987), Pastoral Coordinator Gwen Brunson (1987-1988), Student Clergy Belle Armstrong (1988-1989), Reverend Renae Phillips (1990-2011), Reverend Christopher George served as Associate Pastor from 2000- 2004 and then as a Volunteer Staff Pastor from 2007-2009 and Reverend Tony Thieman-Somora came as Interim Pastor in 2013 and was elected Senior Pastor in 2015.
Our programming has included Creating a Life that Matters, Crown Financial Workshops, relationship building studies, and small group studies. The ministries for our church have grown throughout the years to include a Children’s Church, Congregational Care, Prayer Partner’s, Hospitality, the VISION Newsletter, Rainbow Seeker small groups, Altar/Sanctuary Guild, and Transportation.
We strive to be a church that serves our city and community. MCC Lubbock housed and operated the Ryan White Pantry, which provided food and hygiene products to people living with HIV/AIDS, from May 2004 to May 2008. Our Helping Hand Pantry provides a bag of groceries for anyone in need. In 2011 our average is approximately 60 – 65 bags a month.
In 2009 our LGBT friendly community organizations, along with representatives from Texas Tech University, collaborated and began LGBT Awareness Month in October. MCC Lubbock has hosted several events in the past few years, including a Homecoming Out Dance sponsored by the Doorways Youth Group. We look forward to all God is calling us to be in our community, our city, our country, and our world!
Since 2013, the Helping Hand Ministry continues to give out food bags, but also food vouchers from the FOOD BANK and in 2015 added sack lunches for those who need them. MCC Lubbock takes part in the July 4th parade and since 2015 also takes part in the Miracle on 34th St. Parade. In 2016, MCC Lubbock was given a trailer which has been fixed up for parades in the future. MCC Lubbock takes part in the annual PRIDE event with booths about the church, our PRIDE store and in 2015 a food booth as well. MCC Lubbock continues to have an annual WORLD AIDS DAY prayer service and this is now done in conjunction with other churches from the area.