A United Ministry investigation has concluded and another College investigation is ongoing into whether Annenberg cook Larry Houston engaged in proselytizing.
Houston, who considers himself “ex-gay,” says he came to Harvard to help those “struggling with homosexuality.” Several administrators and other University officials have expressed concern over his presence on campus since a profile of Houston appeared in The Crimson three weeks ago.
Harvard’s United Ministry concluded on Tuesday that Houston is not officially linked with any campus ministry and therefore is not under its jurisdiction.
And Associate Dean of the College David P. Illingworth ’71 is investigating concerns raised among the deans that Houston may be proselytizing. He said he will present any evidence he gathers to Harvard University Dining Services (HUDS), Houston’s employer.
“If you know students who had a negative experience [with Houston], then by all means tell them to come to me,” Illingworth said.
Houston denies proselytizing to any Harvard students. He says that any allegations against him are just politically motivated. “Maybe I should put a bigger target on my back,” he joked.
A complaint by a chaplain prompted the United Ministry to investigate whether or not Houston is engaged in proselytizing. Last Thursday, the Executive Committee of United Ministry directed United Ministry President Rev. C. Irving Cummings to gather evidence on the situation.
His first order of business was to determine if Houston is a member of any chaplaincy. Only if Houston was officially linked to a chaplaincy would Cummings investigate whether Houston engaged in proselytizing. All chaplaincies of United Ministry must sign an agreement that says neither they nor their members will engage in proselytizing.
“I would consider him a member [of a chaplaincy] if he is known to those chaplains,” Cummings said.
Based on the Crimson article which described Houston’s involvement with members of Christian Impact (CI), Cummings scheduled a meeting with Pat McLeod, who serves as chaplain of Campus Crusade for Christ, an umbrella organization of CI.
In an interview with The Crimson, McLeod said he did not know Houston personally, asking at one point if he is a student.
“As far as I know, he’s not involved with CI at all,” said McLeod, a graduate student at Boston University who said he is “involved with [CI] students but not on a weekly basis.”
“This is not a Christian Impact thing,” he said, referring to Houston and the ex-gay movement.
After speaking with McLeod on Tuesday, Cummings concluded that Houston has “no connection with CI.”