HISTORY:  In June 2014 during the joint Southwest Texas and Rio Grande annual conference (both conferences now together the Rio Texas conference) in Corpus Christi, Texas, ten United Methodist clergy, all related to a church in the Rio Texas conference, announced that they signed a statement (see below) making themselves available to officiate weddings of same-sex couples.  These ten clergy known as the “Texas Ten” are Rev. Richard T. Bates, Rev. Neal L. Baumwart, Rev. William (Bill) Frisbie II, Rev. George Holcombe, Rev. Alfred (Fred) W. Kandeler, Rev. Victoria Reed Bailey, Rev. John Reynolds, Rev. Susan Sprague, Rev. Dr. Dale G. Tremper, and Rev. John Yeaman.  In June 2015, Rev. Patricia (Patti) Herndon signed the statement.

COUPLES:  Interested couples seeking a wedding officiant will find contact info for the clergy listed at the end of this page by clicking on the names.  Or you may contact the Rio Texas Reconciling Team for assistance at 

CLERGY:  United Methodist clergy related to a church in the Rio Texas conference wishing to add their name to the statement can contact

PRESS:  United Methodist Reporter article HERE



As ordained United Methodist clergy, we affirm the sacred worth of all persons and their full inclusion in the life of our church, regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression. Therefore, we declare that we are available to officiate at marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples.  We require that every couple, whose wedding we plan to officiate, be prepared with appropriate pastoral counseling. Informed by Scripture, tradition, reason, and experience, we cannot in good conscience do anything less.

We believe this declaration is faithfully obedient to the life and teaching of Jesus, who broke down social and religious barriers and welcomed all in his ministry of love and reconciliation. It is also faithfully obedient to our ordination vows, to The Constitution of The United Methodist Church[1], and to Wesley’s General Rules[2].

Grateful to the many United Methodists who have worked for the full inclusion of all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the life of the Church, we work and pray for marriage equality to become a lived reality within The United Methodist Church.

We value our covenantal relationships and ask all to hold the entire community of The United Methodist Church in prayer.

In faithful obedience,

Clergy related to churches within the Rio Texas Conference:

Rev. Richard T. Bates
Rev. Neal L. Baumwart
Rev. William (Bill) Frisbie II
Rev. Patricia (Patti) Herndon
Rev. George Holcombe

Rev. Alfred (Fred) W. Kandeler
Rev. Victoria Reed Bailey
Rev. John Reynolds
Rev. Susan Sprague
Rev. Dr. Dale G. Tremper
Rev. John Yeaman
[1] Para. 4, Art IV and The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church 2012, para. 140.

[2] The Book of Discipline, pg. 76. See also BOD, para 21.

Present during the SWTX 2014 Annual Conference Reconciling Worship announcement were seven of the ten who signed statement titled, “Clergy for Faithful Obedience.”


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