M Barclay

(This page was updated May 2017)

M Barclay’s call to ministry was denied when their ordination process was not moved forward in the Southwest Texas annual conference in 2014 (later renamed the Rio Texas annual conference.) See HISTORY section below for more info, and read M’s 2014 statement following their interview experience with our conference Board of Ordained Ministry by clicking HERE.

UPDATE: M Barclay has been commissioned as a provisional deacon by the Northern Illinois conference! Read M’s response HERE and read the official United Methodist Church account HERE. 

M Barclay kneels on left at the Northern Illinois Conference’s commissioning of provisional deacons on June 4, 2017.


M (formerly known as Mary Ann) Barclay had been a certified candidate for ordination in the UMC as a deacon since 2008. They were recommended by the Austin District Committee on Ordained Ministry (DCOM) in April 2012. The scheduled interview with the Southwest Texas Board of Ordained Ministry (BOM) was to take place in January 2014, but during the Annual Conference the previous summer, the BOM voted to preemptively remove M from the list of candidates on the basis of their sexual orientation. After a failed motion to appeal, a ruling of law was put before Bishop Jim Dorff. After the Bishop’s ruling was declined by the Judicial Council in October 2013, the Bishop ruled again in December 2013 stating that the BOM is required by the Book of Discipline to interview M before making any decisions regarding their preparedness for ministry. The Judicial Council reviewed this decision in April 2014, and determined that any candidate affirmed by their District BOM must be interviewed by their Conference BOM. On May 13th, M was interviewed by the BOM and their ordination process was not moved forward. In August 2014, M (known at that time as Mary Ann) began identifying as M Barclay (preferred pronouns “them” and “their”) and moved from Austin, Texas to Chicago, Illinois, where they now serve as Director of Communications for Reconciling Ministries Network. Read M’s 2014 statement following their interview experience with our conference Board of Ordained Ministry by clicking HERE


Clergy located in the Southwest Texas conference who know M through their work and gifts agree: M is a highly qualified candidate for ordination. Read the essays and letters composed in support of M (formerly known as Mary Ann) here:

For more information about the events in 2013 surrounding M (Mary Ann) and their blocked path to ordination in our conference, see these links:

M Barclay, Spring 2014

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