Hoosier Churches supporting HIV Advocacy & IAC Scholarship Fund
A Message from the Hoosier IAC International AIDS Conference Scholarship Fund Founder & President, Harold S. Brown, Jr.: Faith communities in Central Indiana are opening their doors and their hearts to the LGBTQIA+ community. Many of the churches I wish to present here are part of the faith community that has been welcoming long before this particular time. I would like to share these faith communities in which I have been accepted as an openly gay black man into membership. Because so many of us gay Christians have been repulsed by the Church, I want us know this is and has changed and is changing.
The churches presented below have welcomed me and loved me in the name of Jesus Christ. I do believe in God and love the Holy Spirit. I believe what the Church has professed and I am a witness that the love of people for one another is a healing message for us all. It brings forth the community that we need to fight not only HIV, but all health issues that threaten our lives and could bring about our deaths.
The AIDS crisis began long before it was linked to homosexuals yet I often felt I was treated as a second class Christian wherever I worshiped. I have met many Christian sisters and brothers along my life journey who shared similar stories. At a time when I am witnessing a reconnoiter to the AIDS epidemic (similar to the COVID-19 pandemic) my hope is more faith communities will realize many of us were Christians before we knew we were gay. Being able to worship with other believers gives me courage to face the end of my life with HIV. I will leave as a Christian warrior who has fought bravely for over 45 years to end, heal, and cure HIV/AIDS.
By gathering together we increase the army that combats the prejudice, stigma, and bigotry that so often prevents others from disclosing their HIV status and other illnesses. These factors sustain the prevalence and incidence of HIV. Join me in honoring these Faith Communities who have welcomed me and others. Each has offered their support and are now asking members of the community to donate to the Hoosier IAC International AIDS Conference Scholarship Fund to provide scholarships for Hoosiers to attend the International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2024) in Munich, Germany. Preference is given to people who experience health outcome disparities.