Rev. Elder Richard Ploen passed away 6 September 2018. He was 91 years old and has been with Michael Ridenour, his partner, who he met at MCCLA (now Founders MCC) 45 years ago.
Rev. Elder Troy Perry said, “He was the first clergy to visit me when I first founded the church. Previously, he was a Presbyterian missionary to the Sudan and was the dean of students at Chapman College in Orange County, California, USA. I asked him to start Samaritan College because seminary at that time would not let our students attend as openly gays and lesbians. I appointed him in 1970 at our first General Conference to the first Board of Elders (one of four) of our denomination. Such a wonderful gentle man! He will be greatly missed.”
Rev. Ploen created a collection of stories about his early years in MCC. He said, “I met Troy Perry after his second service in Huntington Park and offered my help. I was very fortunate to be a part of the early days with its challenges, blessings, and yes, miracles.”
The photo to the right is from the dedication of the new church as 22nd & Union on 7 March 1971. The caption says: “WARM WELCOME. Rev. Troy Perry welcomes Dr. Evelyn Hooker to MCC’s new church during dedication services. Looking on (from left) are Rev. Lou Loynes, Rev. Richard Ploen, and Rev. John Hose, assistant pastor.” Photo by Lee Mason
In 1973, MCCLA produced a vinyl recording of the service titled “One God.” Rev. Ploen offers the prayer in this recording:
Arrangements are pending.