When he was younger, the Rev. Melvin Poindexter Miller had been torn between pursuing a career in dance or the ministry. After he was accepted into a seminary, though, the decision seemed behind him.
While he was a student, he took a position as a youth minister at Riverside Church in Manhattan and was soon excelling at both callings. He introduced step dancing and pumped new life into the ministry, growing it significantly from 50 over a couple of years.
But at the height of his success, he left to take a less prominent job with another church, fearing that with all the attention, he would be exposed as a gay man and that his career would be ruined.
“I was in the closet,” he said. “I thought it would be bad for my career.”
His decision was part of a pattern of running away from situations that might reveal his sexuality, but that had finally ended by the time he returned to Riverside Church on March 14 to marry Leigh Jeremy Britton. read more