By Fred Jackson, AFR News, August 18, 2000
(AgapePress) - Some pastors within the United Methodist Church are paying a big price for opposing same-sex unions and other liberal church policies.
The Fresno Bee newspaper says the pastor of one of the largest United Methodist churches in the Fresno Valley was suspended and replaced this week. The move against David Wainscott came just two weeks before some in his congregation of 680 people were poised to quit the denomination over differences with its leaders.
The action was taken by Bishop Melvin Talbert, head of the California-Nevada Conference.
In an interview with The Bee, Talbert said, "The pastor, David Wainscott, is either unwilling or unable to provide the kind of leadership to continue our United Methodist witness. He is to discontinue all services to the congregation immediately."
"Iâ€™m at a loss for words," Wainscott told the newspaper. "If my key still fits the door, Iâ€™ll read the bishopâ€™s papers."
The newspaper says Wainscott is the fifth of six consecutive pastors in the Fresno Valley to be disciplined or to quit this year after withholding assessments from the denomination. All were protesting what many see as an increasing liberal stand when it comes to homosexuality.
Some of the pastors have been leaving the denomination over the issue and forming independent churches.