January 16, 2004 -- Posted at 7:30 p.m.
JONESBORO—Another Christian Church is questioning whether one of its openly gay pastors should continue to serve. This time the controversy is hitting a Methodist Church.
A woman pastor in Washington State will face a Church Trial for disclosing that she's been living in a homosexual relationship. A panel of pastors will serve on the jury that determines whether she loses her orders.
Associate Pastor Russell Hull of the First United Methodist Church in Jonesboro says this isn't the first time this has happened. He says if he were serving on that panel, his decision would solely be based on the Church's Book of Discipline, which is their book of rules.
"The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching," said Hull. "Self avowed homosexuals are not accepted as candidates, ordained as ministers or appointed to serve in the United Methodist Church."
However, the Book of Discipline is reviewed every 4 years, which means that the Methodist Church's position on homosexuality, in this case, could possibly change.
"Over the last several conferences, the wording has been questioned," said Hull.
The next conference is scheduled for the Spring. But for now, in the case of the Pastor in Washington State, a majority of her Church members want her to stay on as Pastor.