Vickey Gibbs was born December 1, 1962, in Beaumont, Texas to Alex and Mildred Gibbs, a conservative Baptist family. Knowing that she was lesbian, she ventured into the progressive and welcoming Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church at the age of 18. In those early trips from Beaumont to Houston, Vickey remembered passing KKK crosses blazing north of Interstate 10. Resurrection MCC is a church that historically has been a place of refuge for marginalized Christians, especially those who identify as LGBTQ.
After arriving at Resurrection MCC, as one of the few people of color, Vickey quickly became immersed in its ministries. She was not ordained at the time but helped grow the congregation substantially in her first few years of membership. She began singing with its Southern Gospel quartet. She helped establish its Gospel Ensemble (singing music from the African-American tradition) and formed an African-American women’s ensemble. Vickey was elected to the congregation’s Board of Directors and also served the church on its Pastoral Search Committee, Building Committee, Ministry Coordinating Council, practically every other committee, and as a Lay Delegate to the denomination’s General Conference. During this era, she also worked as the Confidential Administrative Assistant for Resurrection’s Senior Pastor, Rev. Elder Dwayne Johnson, for nearly a decade.
Rev. Gibbs studied at both Rice University and Pacific School of Religion and was ordained in December 2014, and continued to serve as the denomination’s curriculum specialist and Diversity and Inclusion Program coordinator. She then transitioned to her role as Associate Pastor at Resurrection in 2015. Current members said it was obvious that she was meant to pursue a career in ministry.
In 2016, Rev. Gibbs married Cassandra White, the gospel ensemble director at the church.
According to her wife, Vickey was diagnosed with lupus at a young age and had exceeded her life expectancy. Rev. Troy Treash, a senior pastor of Resurrection MCC, also said that being diagnosed with lupus prompted her to live “every day like she was running out of time.”
Rev. Gibbs had a passion for justice and equity. She worked tirelessly to invite, push, and pull others into conversation and action surrounding justice for all, especially those on the margins. Rev. Vickey had the gift of meeting people where they were, but not leaving them there accompanying them step-by-step towards healing and justice. She often helped organize protests and prayer vigils, including for immigrants at the Texas border and for Sandra Bland, a Black woman activist who was found dead in a jail cell in nearby Wharton County in 2015.
Having supported numerous People of African Descent (PAD) conferences, the conference honored Rev. Vickey with the Rosa Parks Award in 2017. More recently, she served the MCC denomination as Worship Coordinator for its 2019 Global General Conference in Orlando, Florida.
In addition to her work in MCC, Rev. Gibbs was engaged in the community as a member of the Houston Coalition of Black Affirming Pastors, Houston Faith Leaders Coalition, Planned Parenthood Faith in Action Cohort, and Texas Advocates for Justice. She served on the Board of the Montrose Center Women’s Programming Advisory Committee. She loved living in the most diverse city in the USA, as it afforded her the opportunity to immerse herself in the cultures of people from around the world. She loved learning and she loved teaching.
On July 10, 2020, Rev. Gibbs died of pneumonia caused by the COVID-19. She was 57. Her death came five days after she had tested positive.
Reverend Vickey Gibbs leaves behind her wife Cassandra White; their daughters Cara and Ariel; grandson Xavier; several aunts and cousins; and countless church members, congregants, friends, and admirers throughout the world.
She was elected posthumously as a Houston Pride Parade Marshall in 2021.
(This biographical profile written by Irene Renaldy from the online sources listed below.)
Biography Date: October 2021
Remembering Our Beloved Rev. Vickey Gibbs Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/3163699947078811
Rev. Vickey’s sermons:
May 3rd, 2020: “Fear of the Other: Embracing Witness” https://www.facebook.com/57392508853/videos/3063391647015785
The sermon begins at 17:10.
June 7th, 2020 (Pride month):
The sermon begins at 20:15.
Rev. Vickey’s Poems on Transgender Day of Remembrance.
of all the vast varieties of humankind,
Help us to move beyond
of an either / or mentality
to the inclusiveness
of an all and every
way of thinking.
Move us beyond binary definitions
to the mystery and complexity of
Your infinite creativity
As we pause to remember those
because of their
all encompassing humanity
open hearts that need to hear
souls that need to know
and minds that need to see
that there are
nor Your creation.
MCC | Black | Clergy Activist | Houston | Texas
“Rev. Vickey Gibbs | Profile”, LGBTQ Religious Archives Network, accessed October 23, 2021, https://lgbtqreligiousarchives.org/profiles/vickey-gibbs.
“A woman of great compassion and insight, Vickey supported the OEM [Office of Emergubg Ministries] program officers for HIV/AIDS, women, people of African descent and of European descent, trans/gender non-conforming people, and people with disabilities, as well as the OEM Latinx ministry programs. She was gracious with a strong sense of humor, gentle spirit, keen observer of human behaviors, and passionate overcomer of obstacles,”
– as remembered by Rev. Elder Darlene Garner on July 2021
“Rev. Vickey Gibbs has touched so many lives with her ministry and will be sorely missed. My main experience of her was as a powerful preacher. I heard Rev. Vickey Gibbs preach twice. The first time was last May when I was visiting Houston, USA and attended Resurrection MCC for Sunday worship. I was struck by Vickey's presence, the power of her message and her ability to relate scripture to everyday life. The second time was watching a video of her sermon preached after Pentecost this year. It was a sermon full of righteous anger, lament and prophecy, skilfully unpacking and articulating the intersections between Covid 19, poverty, racism and white supremacy in a deeply spiritual way. I wrote to thank her for her powerful message and shared it with others. I didn't know Rev. Vickey well and this sermon taught me so much about who she was as a person, as a community activist, as a faith filled pastor. My heart and prayers go out to Cassandra and family, to Rev. Troy Treash and all at Resurrection MCC and to all who have been blessed to have Rev. Vickey Gibbs in their life.”
– as remembered by Rev. Elder Cecelia Eggleston on July 2021
“When I remember Vickey, I think of a shy, brilliant, gifted, deeply spiritual woman who blessed those of us who worked for MCC Globally. She was the kind of staff person that made me proud to be MCC Moderator. Vickey was a living library of resources, always willing to support and create, to help pastors and churches. She gave “over and above” for our People of African Descent conferences and movement. Of course, she loved the people and ministry of Resurrection MCC where she served with grace and excellence. Thousands of people have been impacted by her quiet competence and her compassionate spirit.”
– as remembered by Rev. Elder Dr. Nancy Wilson on July 2021
“Rev. Vickey Gibbs was an angel in person. She touched a lot of lives among our churches in Latin America, and in MCC in General. I always felt the presence of God through her friendship; great memories are present deeply in my heart working, and laughing with her. Vickey is one of our MCC saints in heaven. Thank you Rev. Vickey for your life, and for being part of us.”
– as remembered by Rev Elder Héctor Gutiérrez on July 2021
“Gibbs had an unfathomable capacity for forgiveness. After the Pulse nightclub shooting, RMCC hosted a community-wide service with almost 1,000 people in attendance.” Forty-nine candles were lit during the service, one for each victim. Vicki then told everyone assembled that there was one more candle to light—for the shooter. She reminded us that he also needed to be included in our prayers. Vickey’s spiritual intensity was evident, even in the midst of that collective anger.”
– as remembered by Rev. Troy Treash on July 2021
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