Pastor Who Held Same-sex Service Placed on Suspension by Bishop

CONTACT: Ralph E. Baker (Release #628)
Nashville, Tenn. (615) 742-5470
Nov. 6, 1997


by United Methodist News Service

The Rev. Jimmy Creech, pastor of First United Methodist Church, Omaha, Neb., is being placed on 60 days suspension beginning Nov. 10 by Nebraska Area Bishop Joel Martinez.

In an apparent violation of the United Methodist Book of Discipline, which prohibits clergy from holding services of union for homosexual couples, Creech held such a celebration for two women on Sept. 14 at First Church. Soon after, complaints were filed against the pastor.

According to a statement released by Martinez, Creech will continue to receive his salary, housing and benefits, but pastoral oversight of the church will be assumed by the Rev. Donald D. Bredthaur, a member of the current pastoral staff.

"It is my hope that the congregation of First Church will use this time for continuing prayer, thoughtful reflection and respectful dialogue about its current and future mission in Omaha," said Martinez.

Church law allows the bishop and executive committee of the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry to place a pastor on suspension during a complaint process.

Produced by United Methodist News Service, official news agency of the United Methodist Church, with offices in Nashville, Tenn., New York, and Washington.

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Note: The material above is reproduced from United Methodist News Service. CORNET does not believe that Jimmy Creech has violated The Book of Discipline. For more information, see our statement in support of Jimmy Creech, our home page about Jimmy Creech, and A Matter of Conscience.

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