Jay McCarty


Several hundred persons filled the sanctuary of Trinity U.M. Church in Kansas City on July 6, 1994, for "A Service of Joy and Thanksgiving for the Life of James 'Jay' McCarty," long-time Reconciling Congregation activist and board member. The celebration recognized Jay as a "lover of tradition and challenger of convention." The breadth of Jay's Christian faith was evident in the variety of music, scriptures and prayers. Stories reminded friends and family members of Jay's witty, self-deprecating humor; his impeccable dress; his love of fine restaurants and travel; his eloquent and earthy speech; his compassion for others, especially those alone or in distress; and his life-long love for the Church and his refusal to let the Church be any less than what he envisioned it to be.

Jay was born on May 18, 1945, and raised in several small towns in Kansas and Missouri. An education career brought him to Kansas City in 1978 where he worked as a special education teacher in the public schools. Jay's activism in The United Methodist Church led to his involvement with Affirmation: United Methodists for Lesbian & Gay Concerns. After prodding his congregation, Kairos U.M. Church, to become a Reconciling Congregation in 1987, Jay became a leader in the national Reconciling movement, first on the Advisory Committee and then as one of the original board members in 1990. His volunteer service also encompassed the Board of Church and Society and other activities in the Missouri West Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, serving on the boards of two local AIDS organizations and nurturing other Kansas City congregations to become Reconciling Congregations.

Jay's exuberant love of life, his often baudy storytelling and his strong sense of Christian responsibility touched many lives. We thank God for the unique and unrepeatable gift of Jay McCarty.  Jay is survived by his partner, Dale Allen.

(This memorial tribute to Jay McCarty was written by Mark Bowman and published in the Reconciling Congregation Program newsletter.)

Biography Date: January, 2004


Methodist (UMC, United Methodist Church) | Affirmation (United Methodist) | Reconciling Ministries Network (formerly Reconciling Congregation Program) | Activist (religious institutions) | Kansas City | Missouri


“Jay McCarty | Profile”, LGBTQ Religious Archives Network, accessed June 20, 2024, https://lgbtqreligiousarchives.org/profiles/jay-mccarty.


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