San Francisco's Glide Church stripped of clergy

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- There appears to be a power struggle going on at one of San Francisco's most well-known churches. Glide has been stripped of its clergy by the leadership of the United Methodist Church.

For more than 50 years Glide has been an iconic presence in the city of San Francisco. It is known for its inspirational choir, inclusive congregation, it's mission of serving the needy, and it's charismatic leader, Reverend Cecil Williams, who retired but still leads.

Karen Hanrahan, the President, and CEO of Glide believe that's in jeopardy. "With this new Bishop, that entire legacy is being challenged."

Hanrahan and the trustees received notice from the Bishop who oversees churches in California and Nevada that Glides' clergy is being reassigned and not replaced.

One of the Bishop's deputies broke the news to a stunned congregation on Sunday.

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District Superintendent Staci Current told the members, "It's not for Glide to stop, It's for Glide to go on."

The church hierarchy is not commenting When we called the District number we were told, no one was talking.

But Hanrahan believes the rift is caused by a difference in philosophy, and a new Bishop, Minerva Carcano, trying to exert control.

"She brings a more conservative, traditional philosophy with her and we feel it's not in line with Glide's values."

Sources tell us there is tension between the Glide Foundation, a $20 million non-profit that runs the social services, and the United Methodist Church itself, over who is in charge of the religious institution. The pastors' removal takes effect July 1st.

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