Biography / Photos

Rev. Franklyn Schaefer is a United Methodist pastor, chaplain and author ("Defrocked" 2014). He and his wife immigrated from Germany in 1990. After obtaining a Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary (1996) and following ordination as an Elder (1998), he served two church appointments in Pennsylvania. In between appointments, he obtained a Clinical Pastoral Education degree from Penn State University while working as a resident chaplain at Hershey Medical Center. (2001-2002). In a highly publicized United Methodist Church trial he was defrocked in 2013 for officiating at his sonís same-sex wedding after refusing to denounce gay marriage rights. He was reinstated on an appeal in June 2014, a ruling that was upheld by the Church's highest Court in October 2014. Pastor Frank has became a national advocate for human rights while also pioneering the University U.M. Church restart in Isla Vista, California.



  • Pastor Frank was born on December 7,1961 in Wuppertal, Germany

  • In 1980, he and Brigitte (Meyer) and got married.

  • in 1983, Frank & Brigitte's son Tim, was born; Deborah in 1985, Kevin in 1990, and Jordan Pascal in 1994.

  • In 1988, Frank earned a degree as a professional translator issued by the State of Nordrhein Westfalen, Germany

  • In 1990, after feeling called to the ministry, the Schaefers immigrated to the United States were Frank attended Valley Forge Christian College and, afterwards, Princeton Theological Seminary.

  • In 1996, Pastor Frank graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity

  • Between 1993 - 1996, he worked as a student pastor at Morrisville UMC

  • Frank was ordained and appointed to the Avon Zion UMC in Lebanon, PA which he served 5 years.

  • From 2001-2002, he worked as a resident chaplain at Hershey Medical Center while pursuing an education in the field of Clinical Pastoral Education.

  • In 2002, Pastor Frank was appointed to the Zion U.M.C. of Iona in Lebanon County where he ministered for more than 11 years.

  • In 2013, a complaint and subsequent judicial charges were filed against Pastor Frank in the EPA of the UMC for performing my sonís same sex marriage in MA and a church trial found him guilty and eventually defrocked him on December 19th.

  • in June of 2014, Pastor Frank's book "Defrocked" was published by Chalice Press

  • In 2014 Pastor Frank was reinstated into the clergy status of the United Methodist Church following a successful appeal to the NE Jurisdictional Committee on Appeals, after which he was appointed by Bishop Minerva Carcano to the Isla Vista UMC in California.

  • On 10/27 a hearing in front of the Judicial Council--the highest court and last instance of the UM Church reaffirmed the JCOA decision. Pastor Frank will keep his credentials in the UMC. More on the Judicial Council decision

  • On July 1, 2014 Pastor Frank was appointed by Bishop Minerva CarcaŮo to a church restart in the student town of Isla Vista, California, where he has been building a ministry now known as  University United Methodist Church.

  • In October 2015 An Act of Love made its debut at Mill Valley Film Festival. This documentary, directed by Scott Sheppard/Kate Logan and produced by Pauly Perrette chronicles the Schaefer family's story of becoming outspoken LGBTQ supporters within the United Methodist Church.

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Rev. Frank Schaefer, 2013 Rev. Frank Schaefer, 2014 Rev. Frank Schaefer, 2014
Brigitte, Frank, Tim, Debbie (2013) Brigitte, Tim, Frank (2007) Tim and Frank (2013)
Frank in front of Zion Iona UMC (2013) preaching at Zion Iona UMC, 2013 Communion at Zion Iona UMC (2013)
Frank in his office at Zion Iona UMC (2013) Worship at Zion Iona UMC (2013) At the trial, Brigitte and Tim (middle front)
Tim Schaefer (2013) Schaefer family picture from 1999
top: Brigitte, Frank, Jordan Pascal
bottom: Tim, Kevin, Debbie
Cartoon of trial by  Pulitzer Prize winning political cartoonist Signe Wilkinson

Oberlin College, 2014

Austin TX (with Rev. Sid Hall)

Dallas TX, 2014