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Cecil Williams really did that?

Nina Martin | February 6, 2013 | Story Profiles

» He outraced a carload of gun-toting KKK types in Alabama after his track coach had the nerve to enter a store via the front door.

» He was one of five students to desegregate Southern Methodist University (1952).

» He sponsored one of the first public gay dances in S.F. at a nongay venue (in 1964!).

» He caused a huge scandal by tearing down Glide’s big crucifix in 1967 because it was a symbol of death, not life.

» He let the church be used for an “Invisible Circus,” where hippies sipped LSD-spiked Tang and had sex in the aisles and stairways (1967).

» He convinced the super-uptight Randolph Hearst to go on TV and tell his kidnapped daughter, Patty, that he loved her.

» He tried to persuade Jim Jones not to take his People’s Temple flock to Guyana.

» He grew Glide from 35 crabby (and racist) parishioners in 1963 to more than 11,000 multi-culti members (and counting) in 2013.

Beyond The Possible: 50 Years Of Creating Radical Change In A Community Called Glide (Harperone)

Originally published in the February 2013 issue of San Francisco.

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