UM Minister Says
Bishop Sprague Will Never Face Trial
American Family Association
Dr. Donald E. Wildmon, Chairman
P.O. Drawer 2440
Tupelo, Mississippi 38803
Phone 662/844-5036, Ext, 218
For immediate release: February 3, 2003
TUPELO, MS - A United Methodist minister predicts UM Bishop Joseph Sprague will
never go to trial on charges that he violated the teachings of the church.
Donald E. Wildmon, an ordained UM minister, says that the charges against
Sprague will be dismissed due to a lack of evidence.
Sprague has openly and repeatedly denied the virgin birth of Jesus, denied that
Jesus was physically resurrected from the dead, denied that Jesus was born the
son of God and denied that Christ died for the sins of mankind. All these
positions collide with the official teachings of the church.
In the past, Sprague has been active in promoting the ordination of practicing
homosexuals, a position the church has consistently refused to approve.
"There will be no trial," Wildmon said. "Despite the public proclamations of
Bishop Sprague denying the official teachings of the church, the committee
investigating the charges will find that there is not enough evidence for a
trial. The leadership of the church does not want a trial. In fact, many bishops
and other UM leaders would be in agreement with Bishop Sprague."
Sprague, when ordained a UM minister, promised to uphold the teachings of the
church. He answered yes to the following questions: "Have you studied the
doctrines of the United Methodist Church? After full examination, do you believe
that our doctrines are in harmony with the Holy Scriptures? Will you preach and
maintain them?" He reaffirmed them when he was ordained a bishop. In addition,
he asks those same questions of ministers he ordains into the UM ministry.
"Leadership in the church will attempt to keep the investigation as low key as
possible. The charges against Sprague will be dismissed with little comment and
he will continue to serve as bishop," Wildmon said.