DURHAM, N.C. (RNS) — After finally accepting her call to preach, Spencer Cullom took a step of faith and began the yearslong process to become ordained in the United Methodist Church.

She believed God called her to become a United Methodist minister.

And she hoped that her denomination would drop its restrictions against LGBTQ clergy and allow her to follow that call.

But Cullom knew that might not happen.

“If the language in the Book of Discipline doesn’t change, I will not go through with this,” the 29-year old Duke Divinity School student vowed in fall 2017 when she sent a letter to a church official declaring her intention to begin the ordination process.

A ruddy-faced brunette with long, wavy hair and an easy smile,

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