Rembert S. Truluck was born in 1934 and grew up in Clinton, South Carolina, a rural county seat with a Presbyterian college. His family was much involved in the Baptist Church and he followed their example. He credits them with teaching him to love and respect all people; treat everyone with kindness, generosity and loyalty; and to "finish what you start--with pride in your work." While attending Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, he experienced his call to the ordained ministry and was ordained at age 19 as pastor of a small rural Baptist Church nearby. He served there until graduating from Furman in 1956 with a bachelor's degree in history and English.
Truluck then entered the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, from which he earned a Bachelor of Divinity (now M. Div.) in 1959 and a Master of Theology in 1962 and completed the required Clinical Pastoral Education program in Anchorage, Kentucky. He then served as pastor of Ingleside Baptist Church in Norfolk, Virginia, until returning to Southern Baptist to earn a doctorate in Sacred Theology in 1968. After five years as pastor of Baptist congregations in Greenwood, South Carolina, and Columbus, Mississippi, he joined the faculty of The Baptist College of Charleston, South Carolina, where he taught religion and directed a new program of church placement, recruitment and field supervision for students in ministry. During this time, he also worked as a denominational writer of Adult Sunday School lessons and taught extension courses in religion.
This national, leading position in religious education and training ministers came to an end in March, 1981, when a gay friend of his reported his homosexuality to the college's trustees. They demanded his immediate resignation and he left his position and his family to live with his sister in Atlanta. Although well aware of his homosexuality from early adolescence, Dr. Truluck had married in 1959 and had fathered three children. Work with three psychiatrists had left him in "frustration and pain." He reports that he spent the next several years in serious depression and alcoholism and in recovery from both.
Gradually, with support from his parents, sister and the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) in Atlanta, he resumed church ministry as a pastor. In 1988, he began teaching and preaching again at several MCC churches, especially in Atlanta, Nashville and San Francisco. He now resides in Berkeley, California, where he is working on a major book, Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse, in the midst of wide teaching and speaking engagements.
Dr. Truluck writes, "For several years, I have seen my calling to be to help gay and lesbian people feel good about themselves and stop hurting themselves and each other. The only lasting solution that I have found is for individuals to invite Jesus into their lives and give up all other controls." His experience with small group Bible study has lead to a brochure "The Bible as Your Friend: A Guide for Lesbians and Gays," published by UFMCC in 1991. It proclaims "In Christ we can be set free and recover from Bible abuse, fear of religion, fear of sex and internalized homophobia." He believes that "Christ-centered personal evangelism along with disciplined Christ-centered Bible study are the keys to success for Christian gays and lesbians in carrying out the call of Jesus to make disciples of all people."
Dr. Truluck sees his book on Bible abuse as trying "to speak to our need for an approach to spiritual growth and personal evangelism." He claims that it will be "the closest thing we have so far to a 'Gay Bible.'" The main articles and 52 lessons address issues faced by gay and non-gay people in and outside today's churches, with practical encouragement for those wrestling with "personal spiritual issues in the face of misunderstanding and religious oppression." He hopes it will end the "internal warfare that many homosexuals fight every day because of the conflict between their own misunderstanding about God and the Bible and the reality of their sexuality in their daily life." He claims that his website http://remberttruluck.com/ has already liberated thousands of people.
Truluck died on November 14, 2008, in Greenville, South Carolina.
(This biographical statement compiled by Jerry Townsend from information provided on the http://remberttruluck.com/ web site.)
Biography Date: December, 2005
MCC | Baptist (Southern) | Author/editor | Clergy Activist
“I knew Mr. Truluck when he was pastoring the MCC in Nashville, TN. I loved hearing him talk, and every Wednesday we would meet at his house and he would have cooked the most delicious soup or some type of entertainment. It really gave everyone a good time and a chance to learn about each other and God.”
– as remembered by Steve Dryden on November 10, 2017
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