A conservative alternative to the United Methodist Church exceeds 4,200 member congregations


A theologically conservative denomination that was launched in 2022 to serve as an alternative to the United Methodist Church has already garnered more than 4,200 member congregations.

The Worldwide Methodist Church, which was officially launched on May 1, 2022, ended 2023 with 4,281 member churches, according to GMC Transitional Connection Officer Keith Boyette.

In brief comments given to The Christian Post on Wednesday, Boyette explained that while most of GMC's churches were formerly UMC, there are congregations of different origins.

“The current member congregations are mainly former UMC congregations, but we do have member congregations that came from other denominations, or that were previously non-denominational or independent, or that are new church plants that have already been recognized as member congregations,” he explained. .

Additionally, Boyette told CP that there are still UMC churches “both inside and outside the United States” trying to join the GMC, and he expects more to join after UMC General Conference, which is scheduled to take place April 23- May 3rd. at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Over the past few decades, the UMC has dealt with a divisive debate over whether to change its Book of Discipline to allow for the blessing of same-sex unions and the ordination of people in same-sex romantic relationships.

Efforts to change the Book of Discipline have always failed at the level of the General Conference, largely due to the voting power of mostly theologically conservative delegates from Africa.

Despite this, many theological liberals within the UMC actively refused to follow or enforce the rules by performing same-sex unions or ordaining openly homosexual clergy.

For example, in November 2022, the UMC Western Jurisdiction voted to make Reverend Cedrick D. Bridgeforth of the California-Pacific Conference a bishop, even though he is in a same-sex marriage.

In a special session of the UMC General Conference held in February 2019, delegates voted to add Article 2553 to the Book of Discipline, which created a temporary process for congregations to disaffiliate from the UMC over the homosexuality debate.

According to numbers compiled by News from UM and accessed by CP on Wednesday, 7,660 congregations have left the UMC from 2019 to 2023, with more than 5,600 voting to disaffiliate last year alone.

The provisions of Paragraph 2553 expired at the end of 2023.

The GMC is not the only denomination that was created in response to the thousands of congregations that voted to leave the UMC since 2019.

White's Chapel, a Texas megachurch that left the UMC in 2022 and identifies as theologically centrist, launched its own network of churches known as the Methodist Collegiate Church.

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Source: www.christianpost.com

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