By: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer
CINCINNATI — According to a popular Cincinnati pastor, after marrying the love of his life of 30 years, complaints started coming into the church demanding that he be dismissed as some of the members complaining state that the pastor’s lifestyle are at odds with some in his denomination with the preaching the word of God.
However many in Reverend David Meredith’s congregation said they are supporting him. In fact many of the members of the Clifton United Methodist Church prayed for their pastor and his husband on Sunday.
Music and prayer emanated from the church in support of pastor Meredith as people like Janet Steele, stood up for him. “He has shown the love of God to one and all. He has brought people who would never set foot in a church into this community of faith,” Steele told WLWT NBC5.
Reverend Meredith has been a pastor at the Clifton United Methodist Church for the past six years and on top of that, Meredith has been doing God’s work for the past 30 years.
“God wanted me to both pray and lead a congregation,” said Meredith. However since he married his husband Jim Schlachter last year, complaints have been steadily coming into the church.
Sunday afternoon, the United Methodist Church’s Committee on Investigation, heard the complaints and the arguments on both sides to figure out if more proceedings were necessary.
According to the United Methodist Church, their first complaint came in the spring of 2016 and the second complaint came in August of 2017. Those two complaints, hardly sound like a massive amount of people complaining about a good pastor.
The Committee on Investigation includes four clergy members in full connection, three professing members, three alternate clergy members in full connection and six alternate lay members.
Meredith said some would like to see him kicked out of the church, but his congregation stands behind him. “In love, we are saying, ‘Why? Why are we doing this to this man of God?'” Steele said.
However Meredith said this situation won’t change his love for the Lord. “The problem that others have is that I will not be quiet, that I will not hide the witness of Christ in this gay man’s life and in my loving relationship with my husband,” said Meredith.
There was no decision after the hearing, though it could eventually lead to a church trial. A response is expected no later than Friday.
The church told WLWT NBC 5, “There are several possible outcomes including the case being dismissed if there are no grounds for charges and a just resolution.”
Gregory V. Palmer, a Resident Bishop with the United Methodist Church released this statement to WLWT:
“I am unceasingly in prayer for the whole United Methodist Church, the West Ohio Conference and the parties most deeply involved in this process. There are continuing efforts to reach a just resolution.”
We will continue to follow this story and as new information is released, we will bring it too you.
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