Church leaves UMC over pastor move

This story reports on a United Methodist Church in Alabama that ceased to be United Methodist when its pastor was told he would be moved.

We have a lot of churches where the bishop would not dare try to move the senior pastor. I wonder if we are beginning to see a new trend of churches — especially newer ones — withdrawing from United Methodism rather than allow a pastor to leave.

Here is a follow up story that confirms the actions planned in the first story.


6 thoughts on “Church leaves UMC over pastor move

  1. I can’t see the link to the article you reference. Did everyone simply walk out of the building and begin worshiping at a new site? That is really the only way it could happen in the UMC since the DISTRICT owns the building and the property of the church.

  2. This was a fairly new church renting space, so they didn’t own a building to begin with. I’ve seen this on too many occasions in several conferences: The Conference spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on salary support and other direct costs involved with a new church start. The new church start never identifies itself as United Methodist, except perhaps in very small font somewhere on their website “A United Methodist Community.” Then, the new church start leaves when they don’t like something the UMC does or when the UMC eliminates the salary support and begins expecting the new church to participate in connectional giving. Since they have no building, the conference has no leverage and can’t do anything to stop it. And then, we act surprised when we’re using these non-denominational church growth models and practices as our basis for new church starts that our new churches don’t want to be denominational. I truly don’t understand why we invest so much money in new church starts that don’t want to embrace any meaningful identity as United Methodist Church.

  3. My understanding is that ordination binds us to an authority…..we, as clergy, do not have the right to “not feel called” to where we are appointed…..(scripture does speak about this: Jonah, Jesus telling Peter that he will go where he does not want to go)…we are bound together in covenant to follow where those who are placed as superintendents, in the Holy Spirit) call us to go.

    1. I certainly understand the calling issues in similar ways, but if he felt he could no longer abide by those vows, he did what he should and turned in his credentials.

  4. “I truly don’t understand why we invest so much money in new church starts that don’t want to embrace any meaningful identity as United Methodist Church.”

    Couldn’t agree more. It seems accepted and even encourage for these churches to hide their identities; we can’t be shocked when this kind of thing happens.

    Dare I say, often times the pastors of such churches are themselves not thoroughly Methodist to start with?

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