A native of Goldsboro, North Carolina, Jimmy Creech was an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church from 1970 to 1999. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Divinity from The Divinity School of Duke University. In March of 1998, Mr. Creech was acquitted in a church trial of a charge of violating the Order and Discipline of The United Methodist Church because he celebrated a covenant ceremony for two women. When the Nebraska bishop would not allow him to continue as the Senior Pastor at First United Methodist Church, Omaha, Mr. Creech took a leave of absence from pastoral ministry within The United Methodist Church and returned to his home in Raleigh, North Carolina. In April of 1999, Mr. Creech celebrated the holy union of two men in Chapel Hill, NC. Charges were brought against him and a church trial was held in Grand Island, Nebraska, on November 17, 1999. The jury declared Mr. Creech guilty of “disobedience to the Order and Discipline of The United Methodist Church” and withdrew his credentials of ordination. Since the summer of 1998, Mr. Creech has traveled around the country preaching in churches and speaking on college and university campuses, as well as to various community and national organizations about human and civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. He has also served as the chairperson of the Board of Directors of Soulforce, an inter-religious movement using the principles of nonviolent resistance to confront the spiritual violence perpetrated against LGBT persons by religious institutions, and the executive director of Faith In America, an organization dedicated to ending bigotry disguised as religious truth and, in so doing, achieving full and equal civil rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in America. In May of 2009, Mr. Creech was one of 24 co-authors of The Dallas Principles, a set of eight principles and a call to action intended to guide the civil rights movement for full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens. Mr. Creech is the author of two books: Rise Above the Law: The Appeal to the Jury, The United Methodist Church’s Trial of Jimmy Creech, published by The Swing Bridge Press, Omaha, Nebraska, in 2000; and, Adam’s Gift: Memoir of a Pastor's Calling to Defy the Church's Persecution of Lesbians and Gays, published by Duke University Press in 2011.