LGBT Oral History 088: Eva O'Diam

Number of Pages: 
April 6, 2015

Eva O’Diam was born in Dayton, Ohio in 1953 to her mother, a school teacher, and her father, an engineer. Growing up in conservative, rural Ohio, Eva lost her father at the age of 12 and moved to Covington, Ohio where she graduated from high school. At Manchester College, where she earned a degree in sociology, Eva was interested in ministry but grew disillusioned with the church during her last year of college and became a probation officer in Wabash, Indiana. About 18 months later, a Church of the Brethren pastor influenced Eva to return to the ministry, and she has since worked at various positions in pastoring, alternative ministry, and HIV/AIDS assistance. She currently lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with her partner of 23 years, Mary Kelly, and is looking for work as a pastor again. In this interview, Eva discusses her slow personal journey to accept her sexual orientation, the challenge to make her Metropolitan Community Church [MCC] more inclusive of racial, sexual, and ability minorities, as well as her nephew’s unfortunate death that united her family and church community. Regarding LGBT issues, Eva is optimistic for the future but admits that the LGBT community needs to adopt a broader focus, be more inclusive, and address growing challenges for older adults.

Time Period: 
Gift of Eva O'Diam
LGBT Oral History - O'Diam, Eva - 088
Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections