Methodist Pastor at George Mason University Could Face Punishment for Officiating Gay Marriage Ceremony - NBC4 Washington

Julie Carey and the News4 team covering where you live

Methodist Pastor at George Mason University Could Face Punishment for Officiating Gay Marriage Ceremony

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Pastor Faces Punishment for Officiating Same-Sex Wedding

    A Methodist minister in Northern Virginia could face punishment for officiating a same-sex marriage ceremony. News4's Julie Carey reports. (Published Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019)

    A Methodist minister in Northern Virginia could face punishment for officiating a same-sex marriage ceremony.

    A community of Methodists surrounded Drew Ensz in prayer and song Tuesday as he prepared to enter a meeting with Bishop Sharma D. Lewis at the Virginia United Methodist Center outside Richmond.

    Two complaints were filed against Ensz, the director of Arise Campus Ministry at George Mason University in Fairfax, after he officiated a same-sex wedding in September. The United Methodist Church has banned same-sex marriage and the ordination of LGBT clergy. 

    One of the partners Ensz married is someone he confirmed and was a youth minister to, he said.

    'Heartbreaking': Local Methodists React to LGBT Clergy Vote

    'Heartbreaking': Local Methodists React to LGBT Clergy Vote

    Local leaders in the United Methodist Church spoke with News4's Meagan Fitzgerald on Thursday about the denomination's vote this week on same-sex marriage and LGBTQ clergy. Ginger E. Gaines-Cirelli, senior pastor at Foundry United Methodist Church in D.C., said the church would find a way forward.

    (Published Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019)

    "I know Drew well enough to know that he made a pastoral decision for a couple that he was in a pastoral relationship with," Rev. Beth Givens said. "I think he did it faithfully and he did it out of his heart of love for the people he knows and the people that he serves."

    "Bishop Sharma D. Lewis is prayerfully reviewing this situation. She has met with those involved and is evaluating all relevant information. Now is a time for prayer, reflection and deeply respectful dialogue among all in The United Methodist Church," the bishop's office said in a statement to News4.

    A February conference in which delegates voted to strengthen the faith's divisive bans on same-sex marriage and ordination of LGBT clergy prompted backlash.

    Some churches have raised rainbow flags in a show of LGBT solidarity. Some pastors have vowed to defy the strict rules and continue to allow gay weddings in Methodist churches.

    Watch NBC4 and get the latest news anytime, anywhere. Check here for TV listings.