Grant M. Gallup, Integrity pioneer, dies at 77

December 6, 2009

The Rev. Grant M. Gallup died Nov. 26 in Managua. He was 77.

Born Jan. 28, 1932, in Stambaugh, Michigan, Gallup entered Alma College, a Presbyterian affiliate, in 1950, and graduated magna cum laude. He entered Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in 1956.

For three decades Gallup served St. Andrew's Church, an African-American mission on Chicago's west side. Gallup marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and once hosted the Black Panthers in his parish hall. He was a charter member of Integrity USA and the first chaplain to the Chicago chapter. Lifelong friend and Integrity founder Louie Crew once asked Gallup how, as a gay man, parishioners were dealing with his openness, to which Grant responded, "The same way I deal with theirs."

In 2003, Gallup travelled to Iraq, offering himself as a human shield in hopes of preventing the impending U.S. invasion. For many years, Gallup published weekly sermons he called "Homily Grits."

In his 20 years of "retirement" Gallup founded and ran Casa Ave Maria, a house of hospitality for visitors to Nicaragua.

Remembering Gallup, Alan Jones, dean emeritus of Grace Cathedral, wrote, "Imagine him, walking jauntily along -- off to market -- with that little parrot on his shoulder. Imagine him presiding at a meal with lots of wine and laughter. Imagine him presiding at a house mass, which, as small as it was, included the whole world … Grant was a priest of the Incarnation, of God's presence everywhere. He was God's priest, wounded by the world, healed by simple gospel truths."

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