Defrocked midstate pastor vows to fight for LBGT community

Written by Tim Lambert and Emma Jacobs/WHYY | Dec 19, 2013 7:11 PM

Photo by Associated Press photo/Matt Rourke

(Germantown) -- A defrocked Lebanon County pastor is vowing to continue to advocate for a change in policy in the United Methodist Church.

The United Methodist Council of Ordained Ministers ruled to punish Frank Schaefer for presiding at the 2007 wedding of his gay son.

After appearing before the board of around 40 ordained ministers at the end of a month-long suspension, former pastor Frank Schaefer says he is saddened by the decision.

The North Cornwall Township man told the county he could not pledge to follow the Methodist book of discipline's teachings on same-sex marriage, which was a condition of his reinstatement.

Stripped of his credentials, Schaefer says he's still a bit in shock.

Thumbnail image for frank_schaefer7.jpg

Photo by Associated Press Photo/Matt Rourke)

Former United Methodist pastor Frank Schaefer embraces The Reverend Lorelei Toombs.

"I will not give up the fight. I am still a minister in my heart and I will continue to minister," he says. "I will continue to be a voice for the LGBT Community."

Schaefer has been approached by other denominations, but says the Methodist church has been his spiritual home.

"I think sometimes you have to stay where you're at and try to change things from the inside out," he says.

He's appealed the decision, which is the first reached in several Methodist church trials pending nationally over same sex marriages.

Published in Lebanon, News

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