A Cincinnati pastor is at odds with some in his denomination to keep preaching the word of God.
He is openly gay and married, and that has some wanting him removed.
But his congregation said they are supporting him.
Members of the Clifton United Methodist Church prayed for their pastor and his husband.
It was a show of support at a crucial moment.
Music and prayer emanated from the church, as people like Janet Steele, stood up for Reverend David Meredith.
“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.
Meredith has been a pastor at the church for six years and says he has been doing God’s work for 30.
Thursday, he said it’s a mission he doesn’t take lightly.
“God wanted me to both pray and lead a congregation,” he said.
But he said since he married his partner of 30 years, Jim, last year, complaints have come into the church.
Sunday afternoon, the United Methodist Church’s Committee on Investigation heard the complaints and the argument on both sides to figure out if more proceedings are needed.
According to the church, the first complaint came in spring of 2016 and the second complaint came in August of 2017.
It said the hearing on Sunday is confidential.
The church said 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.
It’s a moment Meredith said 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,” he said.
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 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.”