Pine Bluff, Arkansas
Update (Feb. 27):
Original Story (Feb. 25):
PINE BLUFF, AR -- The Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas has dismissed a priest who recently revealed he is transgender.
In a Feb. 26 letter (see attached), Larry R. Benfield, the Episcopal Bishop of Arkansas, stated in part:
I have decided to dissolve the relationship between the priest-‐in-‐charge and Grace Church, effective February 28, 2014. This action will allow the priest to transition at a pace that might not otherwise be possible, and it allows the congregation to reflect calmly on its recent discussions and reflect on how we live out our call to mission in a broken world that needs our witness.
Reverend Greg Fry was born a man but told members she will now live life as a woman.
Fry now wants to be called Gwen.
Church leaders met with the congregation and Fry and decided it would be best to dissolve Fry's relationship with the members.
"The priest will now be able to transition without outside problems to worry about and the congregation can be refocused on its mission to work in the community," Benfield said.
Bishop Larry Benfield said the church can now begin the healing process.
PINE BLUFF, AR -- A Pine Bluff priest tells his congregation that he is now a woman.
Reverend Greg Fry is the priest in charge at the Grace Episcopal Church in Pine Bluff.
He made the announcement to his church on Sunday.
Leaders with the Episcopal Diocese said they will meet with members of the church and with Fry to see if he will remain the head of the church.
Leaders said they accept anyone into their church, regardless of their gender identification.
"It's now something the church is facing along side culture and we're trying to find a response," said Bishop Larry Benfield of the Diocese of Arkansas.
Fox16 has reached out to Fry but has not heard back.