Our History

Established in 2019, the charity Universal Church of Love was founded by Shane St Reynolds in response to discrimination faced in numerous Gold Coast churches due to his sexuality, and in memory of the late Braithen Robertson. By August 2023, the church aligned with the Metropolitan Community Church (an international LGBT+ affirming mainline Protestant Christian denomination), transforming into a spiritual community and relocating worship activities to Southport Uniting Church. Pastor Shane authored the book "Faith & Sexuality: Reconciling LGBT+ People and Christianity" a valuable resource for those reconciling spirituality with sexuality. Offering guidance and support, Shane book explores the intersection of LGBT+ spirituality with identity elements like race, gender, and class. Shane retired as Pastor in November 2023, and the congregation was incorporated into the Southport Uniting Church, now hosting a contemporary and affirming service every Sunday at 5 pm.   

By December 2023, the focus of our nonprofit organization and website has transformed into a comprehensive directory and central hub aimed at linking the LGBTI+ community with faith-based resources. Continuously enhanced with a variety of links, blogs, and resources, our platform is dedicated to empowering and enhancing the overall well-being of individuals by offering a wide range of multifaith resources and support. Although its webpage currently functions as a directory, the registration for Universal Church of Love Incorporated – INC1901451 was officially cancelled on 05/04/2024. Please don't hesitate to contact us via the contact page for prayer requests or any inquiries regarding this website.

The rest of this article marks the history of MCC:

"The Lord was dealing with me. My previous church taught that you couldn't be both Christian and gay. After a suicide attempt while I was arguing with God that he couldn’t love me God spoke to me in a still small voice in the minds ear, ‘don’t tell me what I can do. I love you, Troy, and I don't have any stepsons or stepdaughters. Reread my Word.’ And reread God's word I did." - Rev. Troy Perry

After a close friend's arrest, it dawned on Troy that 'God cares,' which sparked the inception of MCC in Los Angeles, subsequently giving rise to the Metropolitan Community Churches movement.

Discover the Legacy of MCC: Pioneering LGBTQ+ Inclusivity since 1968

Welcome to the journey through the rich history of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC), a groundbreaking denomination that has been at the forefront of embracing LGBTQ+ individuals. Founded on October 6, 1968, by the visionary Troy Perry, MCC has evolved from a small group of 12 members to a thriving community of over 45,000. Under Perry's leadership, MCC has grown to become one of the world's largest advocates for LGBTQ+ rights.

Continuing the Journey: Shaping a Unique Path in Australia

In 1974, Rev. Troy Perry's dream of MCC in Australia took root when he visited Brisbane. On July 11th, 1974, he, along with Rev. Lee Carlton, arrived in Sydney after their initial visit to Brisbane, sponsored by the Gay Catholic Group Acceptance. Just four days later, on July 15, 1974, Rev. Perry and Rev. Carlton conducted the first MCC worship service in Sydney at Graeme Donkin's home on Scahill Street, Campsie. This marked the beginning of MCC's presence in Australia, with 12 attendees forming the nucleus of the first MCC Study Group in Sydney. Today, MCC has established churches in Paddington, NSW (CRAVE MCC), New Farm (MCC Brisbane), Granville (MCC Good Shepherd - Western Sydney), and Petersham (MCC Sydney).

As of August 27, 2023, a new chapter has been written in MCC's Australian journey. The Universal Church of Love, located on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, has joined MCC as a spiritual community and Pastor Shane St Reynolds conducted its inaugural service as MCC Southport. This landmark moment further enriches the legacy of inclusion and affirmation that MCC stands for.

Embracing Diversity and Advocating Inclusion

MCC's historical significance lies in its status as the first religious institution to recognize the importance of ministering to the needs of LGBTQ+ individuals on a global scale. This commitment led Troy Perry to become a prominent activist in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights.

Diversity is a hallmark of Metropolitan Community Churches. It's authors and congregations represent a spectrum of viewpoints, showcasing their dedication to embracing a variety of outlooks. This diversity is woven into the very fabric of MCC's identity, shaping who we are today.

A Spiritual Movement of Inclusion

Although often identified as a Protestant Christian denomination, MCC considers itself a spiritual movement. Founded by Troy Perry, an openly gay Christian pastor, in 1968, MCC has blossomed into a worldwide network of churches and faith communities.

Within MCC, both heterosexual and LGBTQ+ individuals find a place of acceptance. While membership is all-encompassing, the majority proudly belongs to the LGBTQ+ community. In fact, MCC stands out as the sole denomination primarily composed of LGBTQ+ individuals, showcasing unwavering commitment to LGBTQ+ and Queer perspectives. This integral characteristic has defined MCC for over five decades, embodying dedication to diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.

The Heart of MCC: A Progressive Spiritual Movement

At the core of MCC's mission is a profound desire to extend unconditional love and inclusion to all. The belief in the existence of multiple truths drives the churches collective pursuit of understanding. This pursuit forms a cornerstone of it's identity, fostering an environment where faith, beliefs, and questions are openly shared and explored.

Additionally, MCC is resolute in it's mission to combat global injustice and oppression. We actively engage in efforts to alleviate the suffering of marginalized communities and dismantle systems that perpetuate inequality.

Unity and Strength in Community

In embracing a shared identity, we draw upon a wellspring of strength. While honoring diverse individual perspectives, there's a remarkable potential for transformation when we come together as a harmonious whole. This collective unity nurtures profound compassion, sagacity, and fairness.

This platform is a gateway to that purpose—a call to embark on a voyage of exploration, offering glimpses into MCC, and inspiring reflection about becoming a part of our congregational community. The essence of our 'quest' is straightforward: We're on a quest to connect with YOU!

Metropolitan Community Churches: Embracing LGBTQ+ Affirmation Globally

Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), also known as the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC), stands as an internationally recognized Protestant Christian denomination with a profound affirmation of LGBTQ+ individuals. With 222 member congregations spanning 37 countries, MCC extends its outreach to LGBTQ+ families and communities.

Collaboration, Advocacy, and Identity

While the World Council of Churches recognizes MCC as an Official Observer, local MCC congregations actively engage in ecumenical partnerships worldwide. This reflects MCC's openness to collaboration and its association with progressive Christianity.

Central to MCC's theology are the historic creeds of the Christian Church, including the Apostles' and Nicene creeds. Essential practices include weekly Eucharistic celebrations marked by open communion that transcends denominational boundaries. MCC, though Bible-based, grants member churches autonomy concerning doctrine, practice, and worship, highlighting the diversity of worship styles.

Championing LGBTQ+ Rights and Queer Theology

A remarkable aspect of MCC's mission is its unwavering advocacy for minority rights, with a significant focus on LGBTQ+ individuals. Notably, MCC has played a pioneering role in the development of queer theology. This commitment is reflected in the hundreds of same-sex union/marriage ceremonies conducted by MCC congregations worldwide.

Inclusive Leadership and Gender Equality

MCC's embrace of LGBTQ+ individuals extends to its leadership and ministry. It stands as a welcoming haven for LGBTQ+ individuals, many of whom serve as clergy. The election of Nancy Wilson as Moderator signifies MCC's dedication to gender equality in leadership.

Shaping Identity: New Beliefs, Enduring Governance

Reflecting its evolving identity, MCC recently adopted a new statement of faith at the 26th General Conference. This document underscores MCC's core beliefs, shaping its identity while not binding its governance.

In matters of governance, MCC operates through a Council of Elders and Governing Board. The Council of Elders, led by the Moderator, guides spiritual and mission-related aspects. The Governing Board, comprised of clergy and lay members, oversees corporate affairs and finances.

LGBTQIA+ History of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) Documentary:

"Call Me Troy" chronicles Rev. Perry's journey as the founder of the Metropolitan Community Church, the first church to recognize the spiritual needs of the gay community. Beyond this monumental achievement, Rev. Perry also made history by serving as the first openly gay person on the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations. His ground-breaking actions include performing the first public same-sex wedding in the U.S. in 1969 and filing the inaugural lawsuit seeking legal recognition for same-gender marriages in 1970. From advocacy to equality, this documentary showcases Rev. Perry's unyielding dedication to the fight for equal rights and protections - Click here to watch the documentary.