Former Lebanon pastor’s story hits the big screen

LEBANON, Pa. (WHTM) – More than 100 people viewed the award-winning documentary “An Act of Love” at the Leedy Theater on the campus of Lebanon Valley College.

The movie runs about 90 minutes and it focuses on Pastor Frank Schaefer’s 20-year service at Zion United Methodist Church of Iona in Lebanon County.

“I may have shared my story at over 100 venues around the country,” said Schaefer, “But I can’t tell it has powerful as the film does.”

The film shines the spotlight on Schaefer performing his son Tim’s same-sex marriage in another state, and his credentials being stripped after a trial in 2013 because he disobeyed church doctrine, that prohibits pastors from doing same gender marriages.

Schaefer fought back, and his credentials were restored.

Schaefer’s son Tim, shared his struggles of contemplating suicide, because being gay, went against the teachings of the church.

“I think that is the draw of the film,” said Schaefer, “Some have described it as a heavy and powerful scene.”

Schaefer moved to California and remains a pastor with the United Methodist Church. He continues to travel the country to raise awareness.

Schaefer says he has performed six same gender marriages since he moved out west.


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