- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Methodist pastor who was defrocked after he performed a wedding ceremony for his son and his son’s male partner — but who was then reinstated by an appeals board — is due for another hearing before the church’s highest judicial body.

The Rev. Frank Schaefer was suspended and defrocked last year after he first oversaw a gay marriage in the church involving his son and then refused to uphold the Methodist ban on same-sex marriages in the future.

An appeals board reversed that suspension and gave back Mr. Schaefer’s pastoral credentials, The Associated Press reported. But he’s not in the clear to keep his pastoral title.

His case is due to go before the United Methodist Church’s high Judicial Council on Wednesday.

Within the next few days, he’ll learn how this highest church judicial body rules — whether he can keep on pastoring or not, AP reported.

Mr. Schaefer, 52, has been a minister for 21 years. He said his defrocking was a devastation, but that in good conscience, he couldn’t promise that he would never perform another same-sex marriage.

“There was a moment of pain and depression, and the next thing I knew, I was catapulted,” he said, of learning of his defrocking, AP reported. But now he claims he has “more opportunities” than before and has traveled the country to speak on the need to accept gays in the church.

Last month, he released a book about his experiences titled, “Defrocked: How a Father’s Act of Love Shook the United Methodist Church.”

Mr. Schaefer had served at a church in Massachusetts when he performed the gay marriage ceremony for his son. The Methodist Church has about 12 million members around the world, AP said.

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