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LFPR - September 21, 2020 - 0 comments

SAVANNAH, GA – September 21, 2020 – Following the recent announcement of its disaffiliation from the United Methodist Church in support of LGBTQ rights, Asbury Memorial Church is slated to recognize many couples – LGBTQ and straight – who could not be married in their church sanctuary over the last four years. This celebration with be virtual, due to COVID-19 restrictions and will take place at 11:15 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 27. When it is safe to worship again in person, a second event will be planned.

The celebration has been long anticipated, since Rev. Billy Hester and Asbury Memorial made the decision in March 2016 that the church would not host any marriage ceremonies due to the United Methodist Church’s (UMC) ban on same-sex marriage. Now, the newly independent church plans to recognize the couples who have not been able to marry at the church since this time.

“Our LGBTQ members have always been an integral part of the congregation and I’m so proud that all are now officially welcomed and included at Asbury Memorial on a truly equal basis,” said Rev. Hester. “Asbury Memorial has always been a welcoming, all-inclusive congregation and we are excited about our future. The virtual ceremony on Sept. 27 will be a very special experience and milestone for the church that I look forward to sharing with everyone!”

Asbury Memorial is continuing with virtual worship and other spiritual support opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the disaffiliation, the church is now freer to work closely with other spiritual leaders in the Savannah community and beyond, and looks forward to leading the way as a Christ-centered, forward-thinking, all-inclusive congregation that celebrates the joy of God creatively and is a welcoming and affirming congregation for all.

For more information about Asbury Memorial Church or to watch the virtual ceremony on Sept. 27, please visit

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For media inquiries, please contact Kristyn Fielding at, Lesley Francis at or 912-429-3950, or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).