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ELCA Defrocks Pr. Bradley Schmeling
Abstract: Doggedly clinging to failed mission strategy, Committee on Appeals overturns Disciplinary Hearing Committee, removes Pr. Bradley Schmeling from roster effective July 2.
The ELCA Committee on Appeals (COA) has ruled that Pr. Bradley Schmeling of St. John (Atlanta) be removed from the ELCA clergy roster effective July 2. This ruling overturns the earlier verdict of the Disciplinary Hearing Committee that had sought to delay Pr. Schmeling's removal pending action of the 2007 Churchwide Assembly in August.
The complete text of the COA ruling may be found at St. John's Trial Update Page.
Pr. Schmeling is the third ELCA pastor to be defrocked for living in a committed, same-sex partnership: Pr. Ross Merkel was defrocked in 1994 and Pr. Steve Sabin was defrocked in 1998.
According to the ELCA Office of the Secretary, ELCA communicant membership has declined by 348,000 or 6.7 percent since 1994 when the ELCA began defrocking pastors in same-sex partnerships.