Announcing First Unitarian’s Sabbatical Minister: Rev. Michael Crumpler

2020 January 5
by DoMC

Dear Members and Friends of First Unitarian, 

It is with great humility and deep gratitude that I will be joining you as Sabbatical Minister starting in March through June, 2020. I am so excited to be following the graceful feet of Rev. Ana Levy-Lyons when she departs for a well-deserved sabbatical. I look forward to serving you all in Ana’s absence, as well as sharing in the joy and love that fuels your community. 

A little bit about me…

I live in Harlem with my wonderful partner Robert…and our three feline bosses Ernie, Frances, and Clyde. Originally a Southerner, I was born in North Carolina, but moved to Bergen County, New Jersey at age 13, so I’m a bit of an Urban-Country hybrid. My background is also reflected in my religious heritage. I was raised Missionary Baptist, then dabbled in Evangelicalism in my twenties, but moved on to Congregationalism (UCC) after coming out. I was ordained as a UCC minister in 2017 and I was later hired by the Unitarian Universalist Association where I serve as LGBTQ and Multicultural Programs Director. Since joining the UUA, I proudly consider myself a Christian Unitarian Universalist.

Alongside my journey toward vocational ministry are 12 years of honorable military service in the United States Air Force, including service as a Chaplain Candidate. I served out of a deep love for our country and an even deeper commitment to pursuing social justice and equity in all aspects of American life.  

My role as LGBTQ and Multicultural Programs Director at the UUA captures the fullness of my calling as a black, queer, ordained minister.  Every day I am thrilled at the opportunity to uplift the intersections of queerness, multiculturalism, and liberal faith in a society that has consistently devalued all three. Overseeing the nearly 800 Unitarian Universalist Welcoming Congregations that are striving to fully affirm and include LGBTQ+ congregants amazes me. The opportunity to lead our Unitarian Universalist faith toward dismantling white supremacy in all its forms amazes me. Greater still, is the amazing opportunity to share Unitarian Universalism with vulnerable populations in need of a spiritual home that embraces and uplifts all of who they are. 

From what I’ve heard and know, you all have been that spiritual home for many, across generations. I look forward to joining each of you in this work, as together we share First Unitarian’s loving and welcoming community with New York City and beyond. 

Thank you all for trusting me with this sacred calling. 


Rev. Michael J. Crumpler

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