Retired African-American United Methodist Bishop May Face Trial for Presiding at Homosexual Wedding

Retired Bishop Melvin G. Talbert is the highest clergyperson to have broken the church’s official laws and the only known bishop to do so. Photo by Paul Jeffrey/courtesy of UMNS

Retired Bishop Melvin G. Talbert is the highest clergyperson to have broken the church’s official laws and the only known bishop to do so. Photo by Paul Jeffrey/courtesy of UMNS

Complaints have been filed against a United Methodist bishop who presided over a same-sex wedding of two men in defiance of his denomination’s rules prohibiting such ceremonies.

Retired Bishop Melvin G. Talbert is the highest clergyperson to have broken the church’s official laws and the only known bishop to do so.

He officiated at the Oct. 25 union of two men in Birmingham, Ala., even after the local bishop and the executive committee of the Council of Bishops urged Talbert not to go ahead with the ceremony.

Days later, the denomination’s Council of Bishops requested complaints be filed against Talbert.

According to a statement from the Council of Bishops on Thursday (March 13), Talbert “has violated the sacred trust of his office.”

Reached at his Nashville home, Talbert, 79, said church policy requires him to remain silent about the disciplinary process. But he said he was “delighted” that the New York Annual Conference announced Monday (March 10) that it had averted a trial for the Rev. Thomas Ogletree, who presided at the marriage of his son to another man.

“I hope this is a way forward,” Talbert said. “This matter will not be resolved until those discriminatory passages are removed from the Book of Discipline.”

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Religion News Service
Renee K. Gadoua

One thought on “Retired African-American United Methodist Bishop May Face Trial for Presiding at Homosexual Wedding

  1. Bible precedent and Christ-calling are not always the exact same thing, since God is alive and active today still, in the hearts and minds of the saints of The Lord. UMC members have a book of Discipline precisely because the Bible is not one: instead, the Bible has few commands, which the Bishop knows rightly and well; loving God means one must also love one another. His action reflects his answer to the calling of God to serve. Bishop Talbert’s long years answering God’s call have shaped his ministry decision. UMC members should support this servant leader, whether or not they fully understand, as the Bible encourages. Retired clergy deserve at least this.

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