Cornerstone Church Severs Ties with United Methodist Church Denomination

Cornerstone Church, United Methodis Church

Another church has chosen to disaffiliate with the United Methodist Church denomination due to the issue of human sexuality. Cornerstone Church, the biggest congregation in the Michigan state of United Methodists, voted to leave the denomination.

The decision was announced on Sunday and came as the United Methodist Church discusses its future, with the central question being the church's relationship with LGBTQ+ individuals.

Cornerstone Church Disaffiliates with UMC

According to Fox 17, the spokesperson for the Michigan Conference of the UMC stated that since the formation of The United Methodist Church over 50 years ago, members have been in a passionate debate to define church beliefs and relationships with LGBTQ persons, with the root of the conflict being how United Methodists interpret the Bible.

Cornerstone's Lead Pastor, Ken Nash, expressed gratitude for the United Methodist Church and stated that the decision was a healthy step for the church as they navigate ministry in these tough times, even though their hearts are heavy.

The report added that during the pandemic, the United Methodist Church's decision had been delayed, making it difficult to decide on its future. Also, the UMC General Conference was put on hold for three years.

Some are joining a more conservative denomination, Global Methodist Church. According to Michigan UMC, seven churches have already separated in the state, and the Michigan Conference of the UMC expects twenty-three more to follow suit by June.

In the article in Michigan Radio, Bishop David Bard, who leads the Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church, has stated that there is a growing consensus among church leaders that the Book of Discipline needs to be updated to reflect a more accepting stance towards LGBTQ individuals.

He added that a strong majority of US-based delegates to the church's general conference want to move towards a more liberal or progressive direction.

However, Bard also noted that some more conservative congregations resist this potential move and that enforcing the current provision in the Book of Discipline regarding LGBTQ people is not as strict as some would like.

Also Read: Central United Methodist Church in Fayetteville Divides Into Three Separate Congregations

Other Churches that Decided to Leave the UMC

Several churches in the Cy-Fair area of Texas have left the United Methodist Church (UMC) to join the Global Methodist Church (GMC) due to an impasse between progressive and traditionalist members of the UMC. According to Community Impact, Heather Sims, the lead pastor at Cornerstone Methodist Church, explained that the UMC has become increasingly theologically broad, resulting in the orthodox Christian faith having less of a voice.

Around 82% of the Cornerstone Methodist Church congregation voted to leave the UMC and join the GMC, which adheres more closely to core Christian beliefs and allows local congregations more decision-making power.

The UMC's Texas Annual Conference requires a two-thirds majority vote for congregations to either remain in the denomination or disaffiliate. The GMC, which launched in May, was formed due to the UMC's "peaceful separation" to create a more progressive and traditional Methodist church, which was delayed until 2024 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Related Article: Asbury Church to Disaffiliate with United Methodist Church Due to Disagreement on LGBTQ+ Inclusion