TULSA, Oklahoma - One of the area's largest United Methodist churches has responded to the denomination's decision to maintain a ban on gay and lesbian clergy.

In a statement, Asbury pastor Tom Harrison said in part:

"The past four days have been very difficult and we recognize it has caused much pain to many of our brothers and sisters.

We grieve with them and continue to keep our doors open to everyone; however, we will remain true to the United Methodist 'Book of Discipline.'"

You can read the full statement below.