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Dell Trial Prosecutor Named

The church trial of Rev. Greg Dell who performed a same-sex ceremony if violation of the recent Judicial Council ruling will most likely be taking place in January of 1999. The Counsel For The Church (prosecuting Elder), Rev. Steve Willams has been chosen after an exhaustive search. Understandably, the bishop had great difficulty in finding someone willing to take on that important role in the trial. The reasons are many, but on the minds of many evangelicals was this question: What effect would taking this job have on my relationship with the Northern Illinois conference? After all, until the recent judicial ruling, the conference was Reconciling and most of the leadership seem to be in support of that position. This is especially true of Bishop C. Joseph Sprague, who uses his position of authority to constantly promote the Reconciling cause and finds it necessary to place a disclaimer on most decisions regarding enforcement of the discipline in matters of this nature.

I met him [Rev. Steve Willams] at a gathering of evengelical clergy whom the bishop asked to get together. He was having a hard time finding someone who would take the job since most were scared of the possible consequences. We decided on Steve and he said, "yes" Steve is bright and savy and very much a good choice for a sincere effort. The trial will probably be taking place in Jan.

Rev. Kent L. Svendsen
Northern Illinois Conference Coordinator
Confessing Movement Within the United Methodist Church

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