Letter Faxed to Lindsey Davis
3964 Preston Court, N.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30319-1676
March 9, 1999
Rev. Lindsey Davis
United Methodist Church North Georgia Conference
159 Ralph McGill Boulevard, # 208
Atlanta, Georgia 30308
Dear Reverend Davis:
RESIGN FROM THE EPISCOPACY
This is a request that you resign from the episcopacy, because I feel that you no
longer have the moral authority required for leadership in the United Methodist Church.
Perhaps you can find a charge in, hopefully, another conference that will accept you. I
suggest that you contact Melvin Talbert, Joseph Sprague or Ed Paup, since their standards
are not that stringent.
YOUR ASSIGNMENT TO THE NORTH GEORGIA CONFERENCE
When you were assigned to the North Georgia Conference after your election as a bishop
in 1996, there was a huge sense of excitement in the Conference. The buzz was that you
were an evangelical minister, and this is, relatively speaking, a conservative conference.
Expectations for you were very high.
Excitement turned to concern, when Bishops Fannin, Henderson, Looney, Morgan and you,
Rev. Davis, voted with the Emory Board -- unanimously -- to approve same-sex marriages in
our chapels. Your reasoning was that any ceremonies of this type had to be approved by the
chaplains in charge of our churches. Unfortunately, were a bishop to appoint a Jimmy
Creech, Greg Dell or Don Fado to be chaplains of these churches...well, you get the
Later, you made a speech to the Confessing Movement convention in Tulsa. That speech
was universally received well.
Then, you came back to Georgia and hammered Marietta First about their
redirection of some of their apportionments.
Further, it was reported by the Advocate that you met with St. Marks and affirmed their
ministry. (Since St. Marks is a reconciling church, the ministry you affirmed would be one
of accepting persons in sinful lifestyles without trying to change their sin.)
Finally, there is this issue of the reappointment of Charles Sineath. Sir, Im
going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that The Atlanta
Journal-Constitution incorrectly reported that Denomination leaders on
Monday portrayed the transfer of the Rev. Charles Sineath...as a routine personnel
transfer, because we all know that it isnt a routine personnel transfer
and that would mean that you lied to the newspaper. I dont agree with you on many
positions, but I have trouble believing that you would lie.
I have Christian brothers and sisters at Marietta First, and I am aware of everything
that transpired in this entire, sad mess. The fact is, Marietta First, out of concern for
the way that apportionments are being spent by the United Methodist Church, made the
decision to redirect (not withhold as the paper reported) some of their apportionments.
You know, too, that the funds were redirected to other United Methodist approved
Now, I believe that I know Charles Sineath. Unlike Randy Mickler did at Mt. Bethel, he
would never change his mind and encourage Marietta First to pay the redirected
apportionments. You knew that too, didnt you sir? You could have told Marietta First
that you didnt agree with them and strongly urged them to reconsider. Then, when
they didnt, you should have dropped it. You chose instead to make an example out of
Youve made a huge mistake, Reverend Davis. Youve proven, beyond a shadow of
a doubt that all the episcopacy cares about is money.
Now, again, I ask you to resign. If you stayed in the conference for another fifty
years, I dont believe that you would further the cause of Christ half as much as
Charles Sineath has in twenty-one years.
Its time for you to go. Search your heart and make the right decision for the
George Don Spruill Member, St. James United Methodist Church Atlanta, Georgia