Press Release

            Judicial Council Hearing Information

What?  Rev. Schaefer's re-instatement as clergy in the United Methodist Church has been appealed by the Council for the Church, Dr. Chris Fisher. (There are four other judicial council cases regarding LGBT rights that are on the docket for the October session - click here to read more)

When?  October 22, 2014   11:00 A.M.

Where?  Doubletree Memphis Downtown Hotel, 185 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee 38103. Hotel phone # 901-334-4609

Presiding Body? The Judicial Council Of The United Methodist Church (the highest and final church court)

Outcome/Result? Rev. Schaefer's Re-instatement as clergy in the UM Church can either be upheld or reversed. If the original penalty ruling by the trial court in PA (from Nov. 19, 2013) is being upheld, Rev. Schaefer will once again be defrocked. A decision is not expected to be announced until several days after the full meeting concludes on October 25.

There is no possibility of an appeal of the decision by the Judicial Council!

Media guidelines
(still and video recording is allowed, but no live broadcasting)

The Judicial Council ‘s Oral Hearing will be open to the public; however, the committee’s deliberations following the hearing will be closed.  Individual Judicial Council members will not be available for interviews and will not issue statements. However, Rev. Schaefer and his counsels are available for interviews.

1.  Media seating will be provided to credentialed news media (subject to available space). Credentials for news media personnel will be issued onsite on the day of the hearing beginning at 9:30 a.m. To be accredited, individuals must represent a recognized news organization such as a newspaper, wire service, television or radio station, magazine or ongoing newsletter, or must serve as a communicator for a United Methodist agency, annual conference, or other church entity.

2.  Because of the short duration of the hearing, there will not be a press room with facilities for reporters.  News media should provide contact information in order to receive follow-up communication about a final decision.  This information will also be posted at

3.  No live broadcasts of the proceedings, either video or audio, are permitted. Accredited still and video press photographers may shoot during the hearing as long as the line of sight for members of the Judicial Council or the persons who will be addressing the Judicial Council at a lectern is not interrupted. Otherwise, the taking of photos or video is prohibited during the hearing itself.

4. Observers/media may not post to social media or text during the hearing. Laptops, cell phones and pagers must be turned off during the proceedings. Violators of this policy will be instructed to leave.


Info from Official United Methodist Websites:

Judicial Council Announcement from August 29,2014:

From: F. Belton Joyner, Jr., Secretary

The President of the Judicial Council has granted an oral hearing for docket item 1014-21. That item is stated as follows:

DOCKET 1014-21: Appeal by the Counsel for the Church of the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference of the Decision of the Northeastern Jurisdiction Committee on Appeals in the Matter of Frank Schaefer

This oral hearing will begin at 11:00 AM, Wednesday, October 22, 2014.