More Light Presbyterians are individual members and congregations of the Presbyterian Church (USA) who are faithful to God’s call and believe that God continues to open new understandings of scripture and the Word in the life of Christ. As a Christian community, we believe that the church must seek to live out those understandings in our life together.
MLP’s Mission Statement
Following the risen Christ, and seeking to make the Church a true community of hospitality, the mission of More Light Presbyterians is to work for the full participation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people of faith in the life, ministry and witness of the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Our History On Becoming A More Light Congregation
Grace Presbyterian Church (formerly University Presbyterian Church) of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is the first More Light Presbyterian church in the state of Alabama.
Although it had been a campus ministry and student center from its beginning in 1952, UPC was chartered as a church in 1966, in the midst of the Civil Rights movement. During that time, UPC not only became one of the few places in Tuscaloosa where people of all races could worship together, but its facility was opened to speakers and activist groups who were denied meeting space elsewhere in the community or on campus.
In 2016 University and Covenant Presbyterian Churches began a merger conversation. Progressive in social justice, both congregations focused on community involvement with University Presbyterian being vocally inclusive of the LGBTQ community. As the merger conversation progressed it was the recommendation of the Merger Committee to include being a More Light Presbyterian Church into Grace Presbyterian’s official church charter. January 8, 2017 the combined congregations became one, Grace Presbyterian Church; a More Light Congregation.
October 28, 2018 we celebrated our first More Light Sunday. Mr. Alex McNeil, Executive Director of More Light, led a small group discussion and preached in 11:00 worship. Over the weekend he facilitated a viewing and discussion of the documentary, Out of Order, a groundbreaking feature documentary revealing the complex and painful struggles faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer faith leaders within the Presbyterian Church, USA.