The Rev. Delores Berry answered her call to ministry at the age of 19. She is a former Christian Methodist Episcopal Minister (CME). She began her ministry at the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches in 1975, and transferred her credentials from the CME church in 1976. Rev. Berry was ordained in the UFMCC in 1983. One of her first official positions with UFMCC was as a member of the Fellowship's Evangelistic Team.
In 1978, Rev. Berry was one of the co-founders of the National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays. She assisted in organizing the first Gay and Lesbian March on Washington in D.C. and assisted in organizing the first People of Color Gay and Lesbian White House Conference.
Rev. Berry has served as District Coordinator of the Mid-Atlantic District and assistant pastor of MCC Baltimore, Maryland. Berry simultaneously pastored Good Samaritan MCC (Norfolk) and MCC Peninsula (Newport News). During this time, she facilitated the merger of these churches to become New Life MCC, Norfolk, Virginia, and continued as pastor of New Life after the merger. Rev. Berry's last pastorate was with MCC Portland, Oregon.
Over the years, Rev. Berry has served the Fellowship as a member of the following committees: The Faith, Fellowship and Order Commission, the Inclusive Language Task Force, the Elders' Task Force on World Church Extension, The Commission on Missiology (Chair) and five years of service on the Executive Committee of the Department of People of Color. Rev. Berry currently serves on the Elders' Task Force on Evangelism, and on the Board of Ordained Ministries of the Mid-Atlantic District.
Rev. Berry has been working as a full-time Evangelist in UFMCC since 1987, and, in May 1988, the Mid-Atlantic District designated the Delores P. Berry Evangelistic Ministries as a Special Work of the District. She visits an average of 55 churches each year and began traveling to UFMCC's in Europe in 1992.
In 1992 Rev. Berry was awarded the UFMCC Purple Grass Award for Excellence in Evangelism.
Rev. Berry is a member of MCC Baltimore in her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland.
Delores died on August 8, 2017.
(This biographical statement taken from her former website.)
Biography Date: February, 2004
MCC | National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays | Black | Artist/musician/poet
“Rev. Delores Berry | Profile”, LGBTQ Religious Archives Network, accessed September 23, 2023, https://lgbtqreligiousarchives.org/profiles/delores-berry.
“I was a student at Wesley Theological Seminary and co-chair of the Chapel Committee. I had seen Delores Berry in worship at the MCC-DC and knew she would shake up some of the assumptions that MCC was a white-male organization. She did. What I remember most was her sweet spirit in helping us prepare the service. I think she recognized we were neophyte seminarians and for us, inviting an MCC preacher/evangelist was a pretty bit step in the early 1980’s. She was terrific and definitely broke open some conversation that were mostly “closeted” previously.”
– as remembered by Chip Aldridge on May 23, 2023
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