Biography / Photos


Franklyn Schaefer is a United Methodist pastor, published artist 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. He currently leads a new church start at Isla Vista California.

Musical Projects:

Franklyn published his first musical album in 2008 (Keep on Smiling) and has published two more albums and several single songs since. Contemporary country, southern rock and folk are the genres through which Franklyn expresses messages of love, social values and justice. His most recent original song (2018) "Run Jimmy Run" speaks to the reality of travelers--migrants and homeless people everywhere, facing prejudice and unjust laws wherever they try to settle down. In addition to the numerous music publications, Frank also published 16 successful videos based on his music, such as a live version of Greensleeves, a lyric video of Lord of the Dance, the Easter Epic, and Psalm 23

LGBTQ Activism:

In a highly publicized United Methodist Church trial, Franklyn was stripped of his credentials and church position 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. Frank has become an outspoken advocate for human rights while also pioneering the University U.M. Church restart in Isla Vista, California. (see also Wikipedia article on Frank Schaefer)



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

  • In 1980, he married Brigitte Meyer at the Baptist church Rolandstrasse, Wuppertal.

  • in 1983, Frank & Brigitte's son Tim, was born; daughter Deborah was born 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 University and, afterwards, Princeton Theological Seminary.

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

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

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

  • During his ministry at Avon Zion UMC, Frank started the DesperatePreacher's Site, a web service that offers a forum for ministers to discuss ideas about the lectionary texts (Revised Common Lectionary). See the Desperate Preacher Wikipedia article for more information.

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

  • In 2008, Frank published his first music album under the artist name "Franklyn Schaefer."  His contemporary Country CD "Keep on Smiling" contains 10 songs that express his life wisdom, experience and beliefs. The CD was released during a CD Party at the Zion Iona church.

  • In 2011 he published an EP with 6 Contemporary Christian songs entitled: "Love like an Ocean."

  • In 2013 Frank published his third CD entitled: "Guitar Reflections - Then and Now" which contains 10 instrumental pieces, two of them originals, the other eight arrangements of public domain classical tunes, such as Greensleeves, the Canon in D and Wye Valley.

  • In 2013, Frank produced an original song in the ancient Gothic Langauge "Atta Unsar" (The Lord's Prayer) under the moniker Gothic Sage. Along with the song, he also published a video and an educational website on the Gothic people.

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

  • In June of 2014, Frank's book "Defrocked" was published by Chalice Press under the name "Franklyn Schaefer" so as to avoid confusion with the "other" Frank Schaeffer.

  • In 2014 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 which meant that Frank could keep his credentials in the UMC. More on the Judicial Council decision

  • On July 1, 2014 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.

  • In 2015, Frank published an instrumental version of In Excelcis Deo as an upbeat dance tune.

  • In 2016, Frank published a cover version of Lord of the Dance (written by Sidney Carter) as a single.

  • In 2018, Frank published his first original song in 4 years.

  • In addition to the numerous music publications, Frank also published 16 successful videos based on his music, such as a live version of Greensleeves, a lyric video of Lord of the Dance, the Easter Epic, and Psalm 23.

Pictures (right-click and save)

Rev. Frank Schaefer Rev. Frank Schaefer Rev. Frank Schaefer
Rev. Frank Schaefer,
Zion Iona UMC
Franklyn Schaefer,
artist picture
Cartoon of trial by  Pulitzer Prize winning political cartoonist Signe Wilkinson