Frazer bars media from pastor's final service

Posted by: John Shryock - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Officials with Montgomery's largest church, Frazer United Methodist, say they won't allow media access to pastor Dr. Barry Carpenter's last sermon.

The church advised that it will not allow cameras on Frazer's campus or access to the preacher. It also will not televise the service as it typically does each week.

Carpenter, who for the last 17-months has led a church family of more than 8,000 members, is set to give his last sermon November 22. Carpenter will be reappointed to a different church by mid-2010.

Bishop Paul L. Leeland said the church has been in transition for nearly two years since the retirement of popular leader Dr. John Ed Mathison.

Ken Roach, Communications Director for Frazer, issued a statement saying the church understands the impact the news has on the community but, "...this Sunday morning will be first and foremost a time of worship, and secondly a deeply emotional time in the life of Dr. Carpenter and the Frazer family." As a result, the service which is normally aired live on WSFA 12 News Sunday at 9:30am will be a previously aired music message.

Carpenter is the second leader at Frazer in a week to announce he'll leave the congregation. Teaching minister John Schmidt is planning to leave in an effort to start a new church.

©2009 WSFA. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.