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MCC Key West

MCC Key West Mission Statement

As the island’s home for liberating spirituality, our mission is to witness God’s inclusive and transforming love in the world

Our Core Values and Guiding Principles

Service: Because we are called to Christian service, we will offer our time and talents in support of the Key West human family in times and circumstances of need.

Discipleship: Because we are called to discipleship we empower people to realize their full potential in Christian ministry.

Stewardship: Because we are called to be good stewards of all the resources entrusted to us, we gather and invest our abundance of time, talent, and finances in ways that are accountable to our mission.

Justice: Because we are called to do justice and seek peace, we work for equality for all people. We seek justice by reflecting the diverse faces of God in the world. We are the face of Christ to those who live on the margins.

Community: Because we are called to Christian community we nurture an environment of care, personal growth, trust and honesty. We hold ourselves accountable to open communication with one another.

Our Denomination

Metropolitan Community Church Key West is a member of The United Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, a Christian Denomination teaching the message of God's inclusive love. CLICK HERE to learn more.

Our History

Key West Womens Club,
our first home in Key West

On June 15, 1980 Keys to the Kingdom Metropolitan Community Church formed as a study group with 14 members, holding services at the Key West Women’s Club on Duval Street. The Worship Coordinator was Rev. Robert Copestake, and the late Jerry Franz was active in organizing services. In November of 1982 The Church attained Mission Status and in December Rev. Greg Strickland was called as Pastor.

In 1983 the Church was incorporated as Metropolitan Community Church Key West, a not for profit (501c3) corporation under the laws of the State of Florida. Greg Strickland and Rev. Walt Collins led the Church. In 1985 Rev. Steve Torrence was called as pastor; there were 49 active members.

In 1986 the building at our present location, 1215 Petronia, was purchased from The Salvation Army. That organization did not want to sell to MCC so the building was bought by a member who then sold to the Church. That same year the Church was chartered by UFMCC and became a sponsor of the Lambda Buddy Group, with 60 active volunteers providing assistance to PWAs and individuals with ARC. During the 80’s and 90’s MCC Key West performed an important ministry to this population and their friends and families. In November 1986 a Thanksgiving service was the first service was held in the new building. In January 1987 The Church received an occupancy permit and began holding regular services in the new building. Later in 1987 a deck was added in the rear of the building and Joan Rapp was hired as an Administrative Assistant.

By May 1989 MCC Key West had 98 active members and hosted the Southeast District Conference of UFMCC. In June, 1990 The Church celebrated its 10th anniversary with Rev. Elder Troy Perry delivering the message. Rev. Tyrone Sweeting became the Assistant Pastor. The Church began a bookstore in the Social Hall. There were 114 active members by the end of the year. In 1991 The Church began a Lay Shepherds Program to assist the Pastor in meeting the needs of the Congregation.
In 1992 Rev. Sweeting was called to become Pastor of MCC, Lafayette, Louisiana. Tony Freeman was installed as Pastoral Intern in September. Rev. Julia Seward was called as Assistant Pastor in November. Under the direction of Rev. Seward assisted by Lauri Smith, signing interpretation was provided during services; the next year a chair lift was installed from the Social Hall to the second floor Sanctuary. MCC Key West participated in outreach to MCC churches in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic by providing monthly funds to assist an Orphanage there. The 15th anniversary was celebrated with a party at Atlantic Shores Resort. Our Pastoral Intern, Tony Freeman, left in August to continue his journey toward ordination. Rev. Elder Troy Perry visited in October.

In 1995 The Lower Keys Ministerial Association refused to allow MCC to participate in their annual Christmas Parade. A controversy ensued and the next year the City of Key West took over the running of the renamed and inclusive Holiday Parade. In addition, a new, more inclusive alliance of ministers was formed.

Rev. Torrence took a sabbatical in 1996-97 to attend the Police Academy and Rev. Seward was Acting Pastor. Following Steve’s departure, Rev. Roy Lennington served as pastor. Then Rev. Todd Gowey was appointed as interim pastor by district coordinator Rev. Judy Davenport. When Rev. Davenport passed suddenly, Rev. Gowey was called to temporarily fill her position. In 2002 he appointed Geoff Leonard-Robinson as interim pastor, who was later ordained in UFMCC.
In 2005 we undertook a major renovation of the building and our kitchen upgraded to commercial standard allowing us to expand our feeding ministries. In June we celebrated our 25th Anniversary with a banquet in the Key West Women’s Club, our original “home.” The Rev. Elder Troy Perry was present, preaching on the anniversary Sunday and serving as Grand Marshall of the annual Pride Parade.

In June 2006 Rev. Geoff Leonard-Robinson left to become Pastor of St. Luke’s MCC, Jacksonville, Florida. In December 2007 The Rev. Charles Tigard, appointed by Regional Elder Rev. Lillie Brock, became our Interim Pastor, with a two-year appointment. Following strategic planning, and some consolidation and structuring, we undertook a pastoral search under the direction of Rev. Elder Brock. In November 2008, the Rev. Joe McMurray was called to become our pastor. Rev. McMurray resigned in August 2011.

MCC Key West is at present a Lay-led congregation. We are fortunate to have a number of members with theological education and pastoral experience. These members volunteer to undertake delivering the message on Sunday, providing pastoral care, and and offering administrative leadership as needed. Recently the Rev. Steve Torrence has volunteered to accept the role of Consulting Pastor.