Controversial Pastor to Speak at Student Senate AIDS Chapel Hour

November 8, 2005

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - Illinois Wesleyan University's Chaplain's Office and the Evelyn Chapel Advisory Board will welcome the Rev. Gregory R. Dell, class of '67, to the University's weekly chapel hour on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 11 a.m. in Evelyn Chapel (1301 Park St., Bloomington).

A pastor at Broadway United Methodist Church (UMC) in Chicago, Dell, the featured speaker for this year's Student Senate AIDS Chapel, will speak about "The Church's Fear of Sexuality."

An advocate for tolerance of homosexuality in the church, Dell was convicted of disobedience to the order and discipline of the United Methodist Church by the denomination's regional Committee on Investigation in 1999, after he conducted a service of holy union for two gay men who were members of his congregation.

His pastoral duties were suspended indefinitely, unless he signed a pledge promising to perform no more such services.  Refusing to sign the pledge, Dell appealed the suspension, which was reduced to one year.  In 2000, Dell returned to his position at Broadway UMC.

Dell has also served churches in Evanston, Minooka, and Naperville, Ill. He was awarded a doctor of humane letters degree from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2000 and earned his master's of divinity degree from the Divinity School at Duke University in 1970.

The event is coordinated by junior history major Melissa Koeppen of Northbrook, Ill., IWU's Student Welfare and Human Relations Commissioner.  For more information, contact the Illinois Wesleyan Chaplain's office at (309) 556-3005.

Contact: Rebecca Welzenbach (309) 556-3181