COB requests complaint to be filed against Talbert

Bishop Melvin Tablert

Bishop Melvin G. Talbert

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — In a statement read this morning by Bishop Robert E. Hayes Jr. of the Oklahoma Episcopal Area, the Council of Bishops(COB) requested that Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, president of the Council, and Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett of the North Alabama Conference file a complaint regarding Bishop Melvin Talbert’s action, for “undermining the ministry of a colleague and conducting a ceremony to celebrate the marriage of a same gender couple.”

“When there are violations of the Book of Discipline, a response is required,” the bishops said in a statement.

Recognizing that the United Methodists are “not of one mind regarding same-sex unions,” the COB acknowledged that the General Conference has given the bishops responsibility for holding one another accountable.

The Council also voted to initiate a task force to lead conversations about human sexuality, race and gender in a global perspective. The goal of this effort is to come to a shared theological understanding amid diverse opinions in the church about these issues.

A complaint of misconduct by Talbert will have to be filed in the Western Jurisdiction, the area where Talbert served his ministry as an active bishop. The Western Jurisdiction is on record as supporting Talbert’s “Biblical Obedience” approach to the issue, and Talbert himself has suggested that the College of Bishops in the Western Jurisdiction support his actions.

Wenner and Wallace-Padgett are being asked to file charges because of their roles in the lead up to Talbert’s action. Wallace-Padgett is the resident bishop of the North Alabama Area where the service was conducted, and Wenner serves as the current president of the Council of Bishops. Both Wallace-Padgett and the Council of Bishops Executive Committee asked Talbert to refrain from traveling to Alabama to conduct the service.

Click here to read the full text of the bishop’s statement.

UMReporter Staff

This story was posted by a staff member of The United Methodist Reporter. For over 160 years The United Methodist Reporter has been helping the people called Methodist to tell their stories. If you have stories that you think need to be told, please let us know at

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44 Comments on "COB requests complaint to be filed against Talbert"

The United Methodist Reporter wants to encourage lively conversation about The United Methodist Church and our articles in the belief that Christian conversation (what Wesley would call conferencing) is a means of grace. While we support passionate debate, we cannot allow language that demeans or demonizes others, and we reserve the right to delete any comment we believe to be harmful or inappropriate. We encourage all to remember that we are all broken and in need of Christ's grace, and that we all see through the glass darkly until that time we when reach full perfection in love. May your speech here be tempered with love, and reflection of the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. After all, "There is no law against things like this." (Galatians 5:22-23)
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[…] United Methodists, You cannot Have it Both Ways Council of Bishops requests complaint to be filed against Talbert Methodist Church prepares to try pastor who performed marriage for gay men Rev. Pamela Lightsey […]

Tired of the Battle
Now, really, Jay…after I confessed my own sin and deliverance from it, and give testimony that among some Methodists in the world there is enough of the power of the Holy Spirit to produce miraculous healings, all you can say in response is that it's "ugliness?" If that's ugliness, is it beauty for Melvin Talbert to cross the country to defy the Church whose rules he vowed at ordination not to change? If what Melvin Talbert proposes to be the power of the gospel is so wondrously effective, why has the UMC in the Western Jurisdiction (where his ideas have… Read more »
Tired of the Battle

Ummm, Pastor Al, I can't believe you're serious in saying these things. Logic alone would ridicule your comments, but even a child can understand First Corinthians 7:25-40 which deals with your first 3 questions. And as to what you contend is in "the Hewbrew Bible," "wifes" and husbands were "invented by God when there was only one person of each gender on Earth.

Amen and amen! We are a church that communicates chaos and confusion to the world. The world does not see our BOD. The world sees our actions. They see a church communicating confusion. Just as King Zedekiah tried to please everyone and ended up pleasing no one, so have we done. To you who condone Bishop Talbert's actions and the actions of others as demonstrating love for everyone, you are wrong. Sin is separation from God. If we really love each other, we will not want each other to remain in sin…..because sin separates us from God. All sin separates… Read more »

Amen and Amen!!


Great comment Mike, and, one that is right on. Only those who have "bishop," "ds," or "clergy" in front of their names are allow to deviate from the holy book of discipline. The umc will continue to struggle and struggle…….

If Bishop Talbert willingly violated church law, shouldn't he be punished by the same law he swore to uphold? If Bishop Talbert willingly violated the covenant of his ordination, shouldn't it be rescinded? It would seem that he has done just that. Further, if any one of us would violate the Discipline, such as serving communion or baptizing without the necessary license/credentials, would we be tossed out as well? This is not an issue of the degree of the sin committeed, as their are no degrees to sin, but a simple question over whether the church's law was violated, particularly… Read more »

So much ugliness in these comments. One person wants us to imitate the practices of African churches, faith healings, and all that; two women officials, whose ordination clearly violates any literal reading of the scripture, which forbids women from speaking in church, are all up in arms against a great man who decides to follow Christ instead of the BOD.


[…] the recent news that the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church have requested charges be brought up […]

Thank you, Council of Bishops, for doing what is right. We welcome and love all people. We are supposed to love as God loved us. We cannot, however, accept all actions, when these actions are directly against the Bible and its teachings. I hope the Council of Bishops continues to hold firm and not cave into pressure to make everyone's actions acceptable. A sin is a sin. We are so lucky to have Jesus to allow us to ask forgiveness for our sins. We welcome all who sin, as we all sin, but we don't accept sinful behaviors.
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