From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Pastor appointed to breakaway Omaha congregation

From NewsDesk <NewsDesk@UMCOM.UMC.ORG>
Date 13 Oct 1998 13:42:04

Oct. 13, 1998	Contact: Linda Green (615)742-5470 Nashville, Tenn.

By United Methodist News Service

A pastor who serves a combined United Methodist and Presbyterian
congregation in Nebraska 
has been appointed minister of the Omaha congregation that broke away
from First United 
Methodist Church.

The Rev. Michael McInnis, 40, pastor of St. Edward United
Methodist/Presbyterian Church in 
St. Edward, Neb., has been appointed pastor of the 325-member United
Methodist Laity 
Fellowship, effective Nov. 1. The appointment was announced Oct. 11 in a
statement from 
Nebraska Bishop Joel Martinez that was read in the St. Edward Church and
to the laity 

The fellowship group left the 1,900-member First United Methodist Church
and began 
worshipping at a high school last spring. Their move came after the
senior pastor, the Rev. 
Jimmy Creech, was acquitted in a March clergy trial for performing a
same-sex union ceremony. 
He was not reappointed to the congregation and has taken a leave of
absence from the ministry. 

The group decided against returning to First Church after Martinez
appointed the Rev. Donald 
Bredthauer to succeed Creech. Bredthauer was associate pastor at First
Church and a Creech 

Fellowship members relocated to the Scottish Rite Cathedral in downtown
Omaha in June. They  
received approval in late September to form a new United Methodist
congregation, which will be 
chartered no later than Nov. 15. Until the church is chartered, the
congregation will continue to 
be called the United Methodist Laity Fellowship.

The appointment to the new congregation came after the Rev. Ron Croom,
Omaha District 
superintendent, consulted with the fellowship's pastor-parish relations
committee, according to 
the Rev. Cole Fowler, superintendent of the Southwest District in the
Nebraska Annual 
Conference, where McInnis is currently serving. 

Fowler said the congregation's needs and desires for ministry and
mission were identified. A 
review of those needs by Martinez and the cabinet led to a search for
pastors who would be a 
good fit for the fellowship.

The fellowship said it seeks to create a church that firmly adheres to
church tradition, 
incorporates a balanced vision of mission and ministry, and takes
seriously the spiritual needs of 
its members.

McInnis is a graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary, an independent
evangelical institution in  
Wilmore, Ky. Ordained a pastor of the Free Methodist Church of North
America, he transferred 
to the United Methodist Church in 1992 and is in his seventh year of
pastoring the St. Edward 
United Methodist/Presbyterian Church.

He and his wife Kathy have three children.

United Methodist News Service
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