Our Founding Story - Brief Version
A Christian and Gay
Our Founding Story - Full Version
History in Kansas City
In 1971, some LGBT+ folk responded to an ad in the Advocate Magazine placed by Metropolitan Community Church founder Troy Perry. The group began meeting at a kitchen table. The next spring they were meeting north of brush creek in Volker Park. In 1972 Troy sent the group their first Pastor.
As summer turned to winter it became too cold for the group to meet outside. Reggie Greene, invited the group to meet in his coffee house called the Asylum. By 1973, Metropolitan Community Church of Greater Kansas City became a member of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches.
In 1974 the church purchased its first permanent property at 4000 Harrison. Several Pastor's served during this time. With the AIDS crisis about to hit Kansas City, in March of 1982, Rev. John Barbone became Senior Pastor. To help those with AIDS the church founded The Good Samaritan Project along with Samaritan House (AKA Save, Inc.)
The project grew so quickly and the staff was already overwhelmed by as many as twenty funerals a month that that everyone had to pull together. During this time many people in the church and the community became very involved in assisting with caring for our those with AIDS. That help was the catalyst that brought people of all walks of life together in our church and is still sustained today in our diversity.
In 1990, the church purchased our current property with an endowment from a man who the church cared for while he was dying and with a successful bond drive. In 1993, we changed our name to Spirit of Hope to reflect our mission.
Beginning in 1999 stain glass windows were designed and created which represent the Churches mission, vision, and values. In May 2002, we adopted a new way of “Community” called the Christ Culture. This Culture teaches Love, Appreciation and Trust.
On September 20, 2009, Rev. John Barbone took his new role as “Pastor Emeritus” in the churches life at Spirit of Hope. On this same date, Spirit of Hope annointed Rev. Kurt Krieger who had served the church for more than 25 years as a lay minister, ministry student, and Staff Pastor.
Currently Phil Griffin is serving as the Gap Pastor at Spirit of Hope.
We invite you to join us in writing history!