Tim Tennant-Jayne was born on June 3, 1955 in Rochester, Pennsylvania, to Weston and Betty Jayne. A brother Robert was also in the family. Tim graduated from high school in Clinton, Iowa in 1972 and did undergraduate studies at Cornell College. He enrolled in seminary at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. He had met Margaret Tennant while at Cornell and they were married in Dayton. They legally changed their surnames to Tennant-Jayne. They welcomed a son Alex into their family.
After seminary graduation Tim was ordained elder in the Iowa Conference of The United Methodist Church and served two different congregations over five years. He grew increasingly uneasy with his emerging gay identity and living in the closet as a straight pastor. So in the late 1980s he decided to make a radical change in identity and in ministry--he divorced Peg and moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Tim connected with Wesley United Methodist Church in downtown Minneapolis and became active in that congregation’s ministries with street persons. Tim developed a strong affinity for listening to and supporting persons who were homeless or in transition and engaged in street ministry in various forms in the following years. He also developed a ministry in gay bars offering a listening ear and words of counsel to persons in need of support. Tim eventually organized his unique ministry as Legends Street Ministry.
Tim became a strong activist for LGBT rights both in the Twin Cities and in the national United Methodist Church. Over the years he played leadership roles in the Reconciling Ministries Network and with Affirmation: United Methodists for LGBT Concerns, most recently served as national co-spokesperson.
A lifelong learner, Tim completed a D.Min. degree in visual arts in Christian worship at United Theological Seminary in the Twin Cities. He supported himself in his street ministry by holding an office job with Advocates for Human Rights.
Tim died on January 4, 2014 after a bout with cancer and is survived by his partner Bil Ingram. Tim’s compassion for justice and human rights, his warm generosity, and his subtle wit are remembered by the many persons whose lives he touched.
(This biographical statement written by Mark Bowman with information provided by Robert Jayne, Judy WestLee and an obituary on the Affirmation web site: https://www.umaffirm.org/site/archives/17-general-historical/28-co-spokesperson-tim-tennant-jayne-rip)
Biography Date: November, 2014
Methodist (UMC, United Methodist Church) | Affirmation (United Methodist) | Clergy Activist | Minneapolis | Minnesota