The leaving of the members of the United Methodist Church over the issue of LGBT debate continues as it widens all throughout the denomination. Recently, St. Andrew Methodist Church, a megachurch in Texas, has voted unanimously to leave the United Methodist Church (UMC) due to disagreements on inclusivity of the LGBT Community and conflicts in the bible.
According to Fox News, the church voted 859-12 in favor of disaffiliating from the denomination during a congregational vote on Feb. 21. The church's leadership has engaged in productive conversations with the UMC's regional authorities to finalize the terms of the disaffiliation while still maintaining relationships with the UMC and blessing each other in mission for the future.
St. Andrew Methodist Church in Texas to leave the Denomination
The senior pastor and executive committee chair of St. Andrew Methodist Church in Texas released a statement last October, saying everyone involved deeply loves the denomination that birthed them. According to UM News, the fractures and flaws of the institution are still too deep to ignore.
Many United Methodist churches in Texas and the US have been disaffiliating or exploring doing so under Book of Discipline Paragraph 2553. This offers a pathway for local churches to depart with their properties. St. Andrew reported that its executive committee decided to leave after extensive study and votes by other key church committees and that the congregation was overwhelmingly supportive.
St. Andrew Methodist Church, which recently voted to leave the United Methodist Church (UMC), seeks to maintain relationships with the UMC while exploring affiliations with other mission-focused Methodist and Wesleyan churches. According to the article in Christian Post, the final disaffiliation agreement will include the payment of necessary apportionments and pension liabilities to the regional body.
St. Andrew will remain an independent Methodist church for some time and will not affiliate with any existing Methodist denominations. The UMC North Texas Annual Conference has confirmed that St. Andrew has met the requirements for disaffiliation, including paying necessary apportionments and pension liabilities. The disaffiliation vote will be affirmed at a Special Called Session.
Also Read: Split Within United Methodist Church Over Human Sexuality Issues to Occur in Late April at Regional Level
The Global Methodist Church as the Go-to of Churches Leaving the UMC
The United Methodist Church (UMC) has been divided over its official stance on homosexuality, with many congregations ignoring the UMC's prohibition on blessing same-sex unions and ordaining noncelibate LGBTQ+ individuals.
According to a story in Christianity Daily, In response, a new conservative denomination called the Global Methodist Church was formed in May 2022 by a group of 17 theologically conservative Methodist clergy and laypeople. 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. The Global Methodist Church has been in the works for over three years and is rooted in the ecumenical and evangelical confessions of the Christian faith.
The Global Methodist Church, a new theologically conservative denomination, has launched with a mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ who worship inclusivity for all. They aim to demonstrate the extravagant love of God in the person of Jesus Christ by loving God wholeheartedly and loving their neighbors as themselves.
The church believes they have been entrusted with a life-saving and transforming message they must share with others through bold, compelling, and fearless witness as their mission advances when individuals become disciples of Jesus Christ and join God's mission to make more disciples.
Related Article: Traditionalist UMC Group Dissolves, Joins New Denomination as Fulfillment of Mission