The Rev. David Meredith of Cincinatti, an openly-gay Methodist minister, may have to face a church trial that could strip him of his ministry for marrying his longtime partner.
Meredith has led the congregation at Clifton United Methodist Church in Cincinnati as an openly gay man since 2012. The Methodist Church pledged to welcome “all persons, regardless of sexual orientation” more than a decade earlier. Despite that pledge, the church’s “Book of Discipline,” a document that is revised every four years to reflect current realities in society still bans gay people from serving as ministers, Meredith told ABC News. The book was last revised in 2016, just days before Meredith married his longtime partner Jim Schlachter, he said.
Shortly after his wedding, 10 members of the Methodist Church in the Cincinnati area sent letters to Bishop Gregory Vaughn Palmer of the Ohio West Area of the United Methodist Church, challenging Meredith’s fitness to be a pastor. None of those church members actually belonged to Meredith’s congregation.