Rev. Carol Cureton, a native of Missouri, became founder of the St. Louis MCC by a roundabout route. After graduating from Southeast Missouri State Teachers College with a B.S. Degree in Biology and Chemistry in 1968, she accepted employment in the Los Angeles area in the chemistry industry (with Xerox Corporation). In the fall of 1972, she became active in MCC-Los Angeles and joined the Exhorter (Student Clergy) Training Program and was licensed as an Exhorter in June 1973.
In the meantime, she joined a venture medical diagnostic company, gaining valuable business management experience. In the summer of 1973, the venture company was sold to the Mallinckrodt Corporation of St. Louis, Missouri. They paid her way back to St. Louis, where the Lord used her to begin the work that became MCC of Greater St. Louis.
On October 28, 1973, Carol, as worship coordinator, held the first MCC worship service in St. Louis and that was the beginning of a whirlwind which had to be the blowing of the Holy Spirit. The congregation was recognized as a mission on December 31, 1973, chartered as a Church on April 21, 1974, and after raising $15,000 in six weeks for a down payment, moved into its own sanctuary December 23, 1974 where nearly 150 worshippers could assemble regularly.
In 1975 at MCC’s General Conference in Dallas, Texas, Rev. Cureton was elected to the Board of Elders of the denomination, succeeding Rev Elder Roy Birchard on that Board. At 29 years old, Rev. Cureton was the youngest person to be elected Elder in the denomination and the second woman, after Rev. Elder Freda Smith.
Rev. Cureton retired from the Board of Elders in 1979.
(This biographical statement compiled by Frank Zerilli from the October 1975 issue of In Unity magazine and edited by Carol Cureton.)
Biography Date: April, 2010
MCC | Clergy Activist | Missouri | St. Louis
“I remember Carol as being an important leader at the Pioneer Center (Gay Women’s Service Center) in Los Angeles from 1970-72, the first of its kind in the U.S. that offered social services to Lesbians. She helped keep the place afloat both financially and with her involvement and caring. Carol was an important ally of ours (Mina Robinson Meyer, now deceased, and myself) and she was terribly missed after she left LA for new horizons in Missouri.
– as remembered by Sharon Raphael on September 11, 2018
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