He was gay, and he asked her to officiate a ceremony for him.
"I declined," she says. "I was in my first parish. I wasn't sure what the reaction would be, and I've regretted that ever since."
Like so many, she struggled with the concept of civil unions versus marriage, too. It's not that she didn't like gay people. She was welcoming to friends and congregation members who were gay. "I was always really aware of this group of folks in the church who were disenfranchised."
As she thought about the issue more and met more gay people over the years, Daniel's view evolved. "When you say civil union, it doesn't have the same meaning."
Daniel is now pastor of the Evangelical Reformed United Church of Christ in Frederick, Maryland. The United Church of Christ passed a resolution in 2005 affirming marriage equality. Daniel's church voted two years later to be an affirming congregation, allowing gays and lesbians to be active in all aspects of the church.
"We're a church where people are welcome, where families are nurtured, where families are families."
She believes right-wing preachers get too much air time, that for far too long, conservative pastors have drowned out the voices of progressive people of faith.
The Maryland legislature passed marriage equality, and the governor signed it into law earlier this year. But opponents gathered enough petition signatures to force a vote this year.
Daniel watched from the sidelines last year as conservative clergy led the charge to try to block the legislation and ban gays from marrying. "Not doing anything this year was not an option," she said.
She and other leaders helped form an interfaith group called AMEN -- Advocating for Marriage Equality Now. They received social media training on how to spread posts rapidly across Facebook. They knocked on doors, placed hundreds of phone calls and wrote letters to the editor to area newspapers, anything to reach out to the state's more progressive electorate.
"The evolution on my journey is: Ever since that time I said 'no,' I've said, 'Why did I do that? They love each other. Why is that any different than the other couples I'm marrying?'"
As she cast her ballot, she thought of all the families that could be made whole. "I must admit that it was a bit emotional," she wrote on her Facebook page.
The Sunday after the vote, she stood before her congregation and declared, "We are generous, we are passionate about justice and we support love for all families. Let's give it up for Maryland!"
The more than 200 members cheered wildly.
In the church bulletin, a gay couple who have been together for more than 25 years invited everyone in the church to their wedding on January 5.
Daniel will marry them.
When Mark Ellis was about 3 months old, a white couple from Maine adopted him in the Philippines. His father was in the Air Force and stationed there. For years, they lived the rolling stone life of a military family, moving from base to base. Ellis played with kids from all walks of life, of all different races.
But when he was 10, his father retired, and the family moved back to Maine. Ellis was suddenly dropped into an all-white environment, the only kid of a different race.
"I had never experienced racial bigotry until we got back to my father's home state," he says.