The Rev. Bill McElvaney

The Rev. Bill McElvaney

During Sunday’s service at Northaven United Methodist Church, retired pastor Bill McElvaney announced that he plans to officiate same-sex marriages, despite the UMC’s law against it, Northaven pastor Eric Folkerth said in a news release.

That might raise some eyebrows for some in the religious community, but at this Preston Hollow church, the Rev. McElvaney’s remarks received a standing ovation. (You can read his entire address here.)

In fact, the congregation largely supports the LGBT community and is home to 14 same-sex couples who have married in other states. That morning, members Jack Evans and George Harris were celebrating their 53rd anniversary.

The Rev. McElvaney has been a Methodist church leader for 40 years and is the Emeritus Pastor at Northaven.

The marriages can’t actually be held at Northaven, though, because, “The current reality of our polity is that there are technical prohibitions against these services being performed by our clergy and in our churches,” Folkerth explained on his blog. So, he has reached out to neighboring churches for support.

Now, two other Preston Hollow churches have offered to facilitate the same-sex marriages — Midway Hills Christian Church and Central Congregation Church.

“There have always been regional differences in our United Methodist Church. In our part of the world, it’s essential that we make a statement and move forward, to support same sex marriage,” Folkerth says.