Southeastern PA

Methodist pastor Rev. Frank Schaefer to learn job fate on Thursday

PHILADELPHIA - A United Methodist pastor from Lebanon County is about to find out whether he'll be defrocked or allowed to continue his ministry.

The Rev. Frank Schaefer has been suspended for officiating the same-sex marriage of his son in 2009, which violates church doctrine. He's scheduled to meet with Methodist officials Thursday morning in Norristown.

Schaefer was told to resign from the clergy by Thursday if he could not follow the denomination's Book of Discipline.

Schaefer calls the book discriminatory. He says he won't voluntarily surrender his credentials, and hopes the church has a change of heart.

Schaefer has planned a news conference in the afternoon.

It will be held at a Methodist church in Philadelphia where an associate pastor was defrocked in 2005 for being in a lesbian relationship.

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