Two of Tulsa's largest churches are on opposite sides of a heated argument within their denomination.
The long-standing disagreement over LGBTQ issues could end up splitting apart Methodist churches.
“I always felt loved, but recognizing I wasn’t able to serve fully at this church was heartbreaking and devastating because my family had been there for two decades or more,” said Episcopal priest Spencer Brown.
Brown is a priest for an Episcopal church in Broken Arrow but grew up in the Methodist church. He said he had to leave the church to follow his calling of being a pastor.
Currently, United Methodist church law does not allow gays and lesbians to serve as pastors, nor does it allow pastors to participate in gay weddings.
Earlier this year, denomination leaders met at a special conference and ultimately voted to keep the bans, but many in the denomination disagree.
On Saturday, Asbury United Methodist Church hosted a gathering put on by a group that supports the church’s traditional interpretation of scripture.
"We believe that the Bible sets forth the way to live our lives, we are seeking to establish a church that will be grounded and rooted in scripture," Keith Boyette, the president of the Wesleyan Covenant Association, told News on 6.
Across town, Reverend David Wiggs and members at Boston Avenue United Methodist held a 12-hour prayer vigil Saturday, as they push for inclusion.
"There are other parts of Methodist that are meeting to espouse the different views about that,” said Wiggs, “we wanted to voice that we believe that God created all of us and we can all participate in the life of the church."
One thing both sides agree on is that a split seems like the only solution. “
It’s time for us to go our separate ways, to bless one another," said Boyette.
Brown plans to keep spreading the message of inclusion, and just wants to see a church that formed his faith finally be at peace.