Rev. Bill McElvaney released this statement to his Northaven UMC family.


On March 7 I received a letter from Bishop Michael McKee notifying me that a complaint had been filed by Reverend Camille Gaston in regard to my conducting a same sex wedding service on March 1.  The UM Discipline calls for a supervisory response from the bishop.  This response is intended to be pastoral and administrative, directed toward a just resolution between the parties.  

The bishop will set a date soon for this meeting involving the bishop, Rev. Gaston, me, and a person of my choice.  The bishop’s letter also informed me that he is suspending me from all clergy responsibilities for a period not to exceed 90 days beginning March 7.  The decisions by Bishop McKee are all according to rules established in the UM Book of Discipline.

As this process unfolds, I will keep Northaven informed.  There are a number of possibilities that may arise from these developments.  This first step involves no legal counsel or judicial procedure.   I would like to ask Northaven members to hold the bishop, the complainant and me in your prayerful concerns as this process unfolds.  I encourage no other response to the bishop’s letter at this time.

God’s Peace,
Bill McElvaney

Rev. Bill McElvaney

The Reverend Dr. William K. McElvaney is Le Van Professor Emeritus of Preaching and Worship at Perkins. He earned the M.Div. (M.Th.) from Perkins in 1957, after earning an M.B.A. (1951) and B.B.A. (1950) from SMU. Upon graduation from Perkins, McElvaney served for 15 years as pastor of several United Methodist congregations. He then served for 12 years as president of the United Methodist-related Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Missouri, where the William K. McElvaney Chair in Preaching was established in his honor in 1988. He received the SMU Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1980, and the William K. McElvaney Fund for the Advancement of Peace and Justice was established at SMU in 1993. “Bill McElvaney has been an outstanding leader in theological education for decades,” Dean Lawrence observes. “In his career, he has served as a professor, as a seminary president, and as a pastor. He is a model of integrity, with a passion for justice, who is always ready to labor for peace. But, in every step along the way, he acts with decency and respect for all of God’s children.”
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