Jesus Days, 1978 - 1983
Greg Reynolds was a closeted gay man involved in a huge evangelical Christian organization. These photos were shot during Bible studies, group prayers, and mission trips abroad.
In the late 70s and early 80s, I was a closeted gay man in his 20s working as a campus minister for an evangelical Christian student organization called the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. During these years, I struggled with my homosexuality. I was overwhelmed by grief and saw no option other than to repress my desires for sex and love. In 1978, a missionary friend gave me a 35 mm Pentax K1000 that she didn’t use. I knew very little about photography, but I loved taking pictures. It wasn’t my intention to document the American evangelical movement, but rather to take photographs of the people and places that were important to me. Now I see that the camera allowed me to say in pictures what I could never say in words.
When therapy and prayer failed to change me into an enthusiastic heterosexual, I came out as a gay man and resigned from the ministry. Today, I am working on turning my Kodachromes into a photo book called Jesus Days. I just launched a Kickstarter, which you can support here to help me bring this project to life. These photos offer a unique perspective into the peculiar world of IVCF, which, at the time, boasted 500 affiliated chapters on secular colleges and university campuses across America. I captured my fellow evangelicals praying and counseling with students, leading Bible studies and group meetings, and engaging in missions abroad. Here are a few pictures from my collection. Enjoy!