The firing of a Tennessee pastor by the United Methodist Church (UMC) after leaders discovered she performed a lesbian wedding has resulted in divisions within America's third-largest religious denomination over its stance on homosexuality, the Huffington Post website reports today (March 13, 2018).
Anna Golladay was licensed by the UMC's Holston Conference to serve at the St. Marks and St. Elmo churches in Chattanooga. A local district committee on ministry voted to rescind Golladay's license on February 26, after an anonymous source shared a photo of the pastor from the same-sex wedding.
Congregants were deeply upset when they heard the news, according to Rev. Gary Ihfe, lead pastor for both churches. "I am sorry for the pain that is being felt by many of our families who feel as though they have come under attack," Ihfe said.
The UMC, which has more than seven million members in the United States, forbids its pastors to officiate same-sex weddings. The UMC's Book of Discipline details its laws and doctrines, and states that "the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching."