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December 01
07:26 2014

In Defrocked, Frank Schaefer tells the story of officiating at his son’s same-sex marriage and, six years later, his subsequent trial by a United Methodist court. That trial stripped Schaefer of his ordination after more than 20 years of ministry in the nation’s largest mainline Protestant denomination.

Deforcked cover FB final.indd


The pastor of a United Methodist congregation in a small Pennsylvania town, Franklyn Schaefer never expected to be the center of a theological and societal debate. But after officiating at his son’s marriage to another man, a church court demanded he vow to never again preside over a same-­sex wedding—or he would be forced to give up his credentials as a pastor. Defrocked tells the story, in Schaefer’s own
words, of the events that led to the nation’s largest mainline Protestant denomination stripping him of his ordination


Frank Schaefer is an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church. He is married to Brigitte and has four children. He was educated at Princeton Theological Seminary and also completed Hershey Medical Center’s CPE residency program for chaplains. In 2013, Frank Schaefer was tried by a United
Methodist court for officiating his son’s same-­sex marriage and was defrocked over his refusal to uphold the Book of Discipline, which meant virtually to denounce gay marriage rights. In June 2014, the defrocking was overturned on appeal, and a hearing is scheduled for October. Now leading a United Methodist campus ministry in California, he is a speaker and human-­rights activist.

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