Fred Ellis, a member of Integrity (Episcopal) since 1991, was born in 1952 in Lufkin, Texas. He grew up as an active member of the Methodist Church, attended college at the University of Texas at Austin, and following school began a career in the hospitality industry. In 1983, Fred was confirmed in the Episcopal Church at Christ Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Fred’s activism began shortly after that when the Rector at Christ Church asked him to speak with a couple whose daughter had just come out to them. For the next nine years that activism was focused at the local parish level in various locations. In 1991, Fred and five other people decided to form an Integrity chapter in Nashville, Tennessee. It became Integrity of Middle Tennessee. In 1993, Fred was appointed by Bruce Garner, President of Integrity to serve as the Director of Development for the national organization, and, in 1994, was elected National President serving two terms through 1998.
During his term as President, Fred served a three-year term on the National Committee of the Episcopal Church for Continuing the Dialogue on Human Sexuality. He also began the process of bringing various LGBT groups within the Episcopal Church together, and to focus them on working together. This began with meetings with Oasis of Newark and participating in the organizational meeting of Oasis of California. During this same time, the National Board of Integrity worked closely with Lutherans Concerned, and the final National Convention of Integrity during Fred’s term was a joint meeting with Integrity and Lutherans Concerned. At that convention Fred was presented the Louie Crew Award for distinguished Gay and Lesbian ministry in the Episcopal Church. One of the highlights of Fred’s term as President of Integrity was to be one of the speakers at the farewell event for the then Presiding Bishop, The Most Reverend Edmund Browning, at the 1997 General Convention in Philadelphia. Another highlight was to be able to participate in the first, and organizational meeting, of the LGBT Religious Leaders Roundtable in Washington, D.C. in July 1998.
Fred has continued to serve on the National level of the Episcopal Church, serving on the Standing Commission for Domestic Mission and Evangelism from 1999-2000. From 2001 through 2003, he has served on the Standing Committee for Anglican and International Peace with Justice Concerns, and was a part of the sub-committee that visited Colombia and Brazil in July 2002. He was a member of the vestry, and Senior Warden at St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church in Dallas, Texas, a delegate to Diocesan Convention, and a lay alternate to the General Convention from the Diocese of Dallas. He also served a two year term as co-chair of the Diocesan Reconciliation Committee for the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas.
Since June 2011, Fred has lived in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church, and serves as a delegate to the Diocesan Convention for the Diocese of North Carolina, and as advisor to the Rector on affairs of the greater Episcopal Church.
(This biographical statement was provided by Fred Ellis.)
Biography Date: October, 2003
Episcopal Church | Integrity | Activist (religious institutions)
“I treasure the time I worked with Fred and others to help found Integrity of Middle Tennessee, but I need to say that this chronology is not quite correct. Fred, others and I started founding the basis of Integrity of Middle Tennessee in the late 1980s, at St Anne’s Church in East Nashville. That corrective having been said, Fred emerged as a leader of this fledgling group of Integrity since Day 1. So many owe so much to the faithful witness and grace filled leadership of Fred Ellis to help found Integrity of Middle Tennessee.”
– as remembered by Robert Tosh on February 16, 2020
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