"First United Methodist Church Indianola, Iowa" by Paul R. Burley / CC BY-SA 4.0

United Methodist clergyman accused of sexual misconduct, says UMNS report

Oct 18, 2019

By Emily McFarlan Miller

A formal church complaint accusing a United Methodist clergyman of sexual misconduct has drawn the United Methodist Church into the #MeToo movement.

Four women have filed a formal complaint against the Rev. Donald “Bud” Heckman — an elder in the denomination’s West Ohio Conference who is well known in interfaith circles — of sexual harassment, misconduct and abuse, according to a United Methodist News Service report published Thursday (Oct. 17).

The women include Heckman’s ex-wife, Laura Heckman.

The West Ohio Conference did not identify the church charges against Heckman, according to UMNS. However, it confirmed to the denomination’s news outlet that the elder has been suspended from ministry and faces “the strong likelihood” of a church trial, which tentatively has been scheduled for Dec. 2-4.

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