A group within The United Methodist Church that held traditional theological beliefs has disbanded and joined a new conservative Methodist denomination because they believe this move completes their mission.
The Confessing Movement, a group within the United Methodist Church that espoused conservative theology and was formed in 1994, announced in We Confess that it would be disbanding on New Year's Eve last year.
UMC Traditionalist Group Dissolves, Cites Accomplishment of Mission
Patricia Miller, who served as the executive director of the Confessing Movement, a theologically conservative group within the United Methodist Church, has said that the organization's work has been "completed" with the formation of the Global Methodist Church.
In an interview with The Christian Post, Miller explained that the Confessing Movement's goal had been to align the United Methodist Church with their beliefs and doctrine and that this goal had now been achieved with the establishment of the Global Methodist Church.
She added that while the Confessing Movement officially closed on December 31, they are still finalizing the closure, including closing bank accounts and terminating phone and other services. Miller stated that the Confessing Movement believes their ministry has been completed with the creation of the Global Methodist Church and emphasized that this does not mean that they have given up, but rather that they have achieved their goal.
Mark Tooley, the president of the conservative Institute on Religion & Democracy, commented on the closure of the Confessing Movement, saying that he believes the group "rightly recognizes that groups with a specific purpose need not continue indefinitely."
Tooley said that the renewal movement, formerly focused on renewing the United Methodist Church, is now focusing on assisting congregations leaving the UMC and building a new traditional Methodism for the future. He expressed gratitude for the legacy of the Confessing Movement, which he said will continue through the Global Methodist Church and other outlets.
John Lomperis, a delegate at the United Methodist Church's General Conference and a member of the Institute on Religion & Democracy, said that the closure of the Confessing Movement was a "very sad day" for the denomination.
Lomperis described the Confessing Movement as a "key voice" for biblical orthodoxy within the UMC. They credited the group with influencing even liberal leaders to pay at least lip service to respect orthodox theology on core doctrinal matters. He predicted that removing the Confessing Movement's restraining influence on progressive theology would significantly impact the UMC.
Global Methodist Church Emerges as New Home for Disbanded UMC Traditionalists
In recent years, the United Methodist Church (UMC) has been deeply divided over its official stance on homosexuality, which it considers "incompatible with Christian teaching."
Despite the UMC's prohibition on blessing same-sex unions and ordaining noncelibate LGBTQ+ individuals, many within the denomination have not followed these rules. As a result, the Global Methodist Church was formed as a conservative alternative in May, and many UMC congregations have decided to join this new denomination.
According to the Global Methodist Church website, the Transitional Leadership Council, a group of 17 theologically conservative Methodist clergy and laypeople, has announced that the Global Methodist Church officially launched last May 1, 2022. Supported by prayer, discernment, and a hopeful vision for the future, the Global Methodist Church is a movement inspired by the Holy Spirit and dedicated to making disciples of Jesus Christ who worship passionately, love extravagantly, and witness boldly to the ends of the earth.
The Global Methodist Church has been in the works for over three years. It is the result of the efforts of thousands of Methodist clergy and laypeople from around the world who have come together to create a new, theologically conservative denomination rooted in the ecumenical and evangelical confessions of the Christian faith. The church aims to be guided by a warm-hearted, Wesleyan expression of faith and to share the message of Jesus Christ through both word and deed.