When Asbury Memorial Church made the decision to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church in 2020, in support of LGBTQ rights, we were thankful to have the expertise of Lesley Francis Public Relations (LFPR) on our team.
We believe that we were the first church in the USA to leave the United Methodist denomination due to its unequal treatment of LGBTQ people and making sure that we explained our position carefully and developed a strategic communications campaign was vital. Also this was happening during the COVID-19 pandemic when all worship is virtual Lesley Francis and her team of marketing professionals managed a very successful PR campaign and Asbury Memorial enjoyed media coverage on a national scale – from coast to coast and north to south. LFPR generated over 300 pieces of positive independent editorial coverage reporting on our disaffiliation and achieved an equivalent advertising campaign value of around $8 million while just charging us our regular monthly fee. We were delighted with the success of this campaign.
Billy Hester, Reverend of Asbury Memorial Church