Controversial Ministerial Candidate Denied Approval

Photo by Steven D. Martin, Baltimore-Washington Conference

Photo by Steven D. Martin, Baltimore-Washington Conference

By Walter Fenton-

A married, lesbian candidate for ministry has failed in her bid to become a deacon in The United Methodist Church.

Earlier this year the board of ordained ministry in the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference recommended that Tara “T.C.” Morrow be commissioned as a provisional deacon.

On Wednesday, June 1, Morrow did not receive the required two-thirds support of the clergy session meeting in Washington D.C. Clergy who are in full connection with an annual conference are the only ones authorized to vote on approving candidates for ministry. It is their prerogative to recommend candidates for ordination by the annual conference’s bishop. Of the clergy voting, 210 voted to recommend her and 134 voted no; 230 votes were necessary for a recommendation.

“It’s no secret that the majority of clergy in many of our annual conferences are more progressive than the rank-and-file who sit in our pews,” said the Rev. Rob Renfroe, President of Good News. “However, this vote demonstrates that in some cases clergy who support our church’s teachings do have the means to stop rogue boards of ministry like that in the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference.

Renfroe was referring to the board’s widely publicized announcement earlier this year that it would defy the UM Church’s clear statement that, “self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church.”

The boards of ordained ministry in the New York, Pacific Northwest, and Northern Illinois Annual Conferences followed Baltimore-Washington’s board with similar announcements.

At the global church’s recent General Conference, delegates voted to create a commission to revisit every paragraph in its Book of Discipline pertaining to its sexual ethics (see below). The church is trying to find ways to remain united despite years of debate and recent acts of open defiance by LGBTQ advocates and those clergy sympathetic to their cause.


  1. Licensed Local Pastor says

    Well it certainly seems that not everyone on the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference Board of Ordination is in lock step with a total disregard for the scriptures or the Book of Discipline. Not only that but they have lived up to their ordination and the vows they took at ordination.

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