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Inter-faith Prayer Vigil Held in Support of Pastor Facing Church Trial

The University Methodist Church in Isla Vista held an inter-faith prayer vigil in support of Pastor Frank Schaefer on Wednesday night.

Rev. Schaefer is in hot water with the United Methodist Church for presiding over the same-sex marriage of his oldest son, Tim, in 2007.

He let the church know in a letter and never heard back.

In 2013, a parishioner in his Lebanon, Pennsylvania church found proof and notified top church officials. By last December Schaefer was defrocked.

He was reinstated in June, but an appeal has threatened his job again. Schaefer will fly to Memphis, Tennessee for a United Methodist Church hearing next Wednesday. He could be defrocked for good.

Schaefer said he is taking a stand in support of all children, including three of his own.

The pastor and his wife have four children, included two gay sons and a lesbian daughter.

At first, they worried about their childrens’ future in a world that does not welcome same-sex marriage or parenthood. He also worried that the church would make them think they would not go to heaven.

The pastor said he is willing to put his livelihood on the line to make his point.

He moved to Santa Barbara in July after being invited to minister students at the University Methodist Church in Isla Vista.

His openly gay son Kevin is a student at UCSB.

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