Reverend Irene Elizabeth Stroud was appointed by Bishop Peter Weaver to be the Associate Pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Germantown (FUMCOG) on July 1, 1999.

On April 27, 2003, she delivered a sermon proclaiming herself a fully ordained lesbian United Methodist Pastor. The congregation of The First United Methodist Church of Germantown gave her a standing ovation.

On Dec. 1, 2004 Reverend Stroud faced a jury of thirteen Methodist ministers who voted 12-to-1 to find her guilty of violating the United Methodist Church’s ban on self-avowed practicing homosexuals being ordained as ministers. Reverend Stroud’s ministerial credentials were removed and she can no longer administer baptisms, marriages or Holy Communion. She remains a lay minister at the First United Methodist Church of Germantown. The two-day open clergy trial drew national media attention to the debate over gays in the clergy.

Rev. Stroud's "Walking In The Light" sermon (including video excerpt)

About Rev. Stroud's decision to annouce her sexual identity

Bishop Weaver's interview about Rev. Stroud's decision

The United Methodist Book of Discipline's stance on homosexuality

Filmmakers' Eyewitness Report on first clergy trial

Visit Beth Stroud's own website (

Timeline of the Beth Stroud Case

Essay by Jamie Stroud, Ph.D. (Rev. Stroud's mother)

Additional links for gay, bisexual, lesbian & transgender rights activism

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