Frank Schaefer


“I must continue to speak for my brothers and sisters who are LGBT in this world and especially in the United Methodist Church. We have to stop treating them as second class Christians. We have to stop harming beloved children of God. We have to reach out to them and treat them as Jesus would have treated them. That’s going to be my message. I would like to put this rainbow stole on me as a sign that I will make a covenant from this day forth never to be silent again.”

Frank Schaefer,
speaking to the jury before his sentencing

MIND is honored to have Frank Schaefer as our speaker at the 2014 annual conference lunch, Friday, June 6, 12pm at Hofstra University.

Frank Schaefer is a former ordained minister of the United Methodist Church, where he served for more than 20 years. A native of Germany, he immigrated to the U.S. in 1990. In addition to his German education, he holds a B.A. from Valley Forge Christian College, an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary and a clinical pastoral education degree from the Hershey Medical Center’s residency program for chaplains.

In 2013, Schaefer was tried by a United Methodist court for officiating at his son’s wedding and was subsequently defrocked over his refusal to uphold the entirety of the Book of Discipline, which would have meant virtually denouncing gay marriage rights. Now a United Methodist lay person, speaker and activist, he continues to advocate for human rights.

Frank Schaefer’s case drew national media attention and is the subject of a forthcoming documentary,  An Act of Love.