DISAFFILIATION: Porters Chapel United Methodist Church joins Eagle Lake and Redwood
Published 5:26 pm Monday, June 26, 2023
Another local United Methodist Church has voted to disaffiliate.
Porters Chapel United Methodist Church will now join the ranks of the Eagle Lake and Redwood UMC congregations in voting to leave the denomination, along with 22 percent of the state’s United Methodist Churches.
The decision comes before the start of the United Methodist Church’s Mississippi Annual Conference, which begins Tuesday and will run until June 30 in Tupelo.
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Dr. Bob Ford, the licensed part-time minister who serves Porter’s Chapel, said the decision to disaffiliate is due to the direction in which his congregation believes the United Methodist Church is going.
In making its request to disaffiliate, Ford said the congregation’s letter written to the conference stated it was due “to the difference in theology that has been developing in the church over the last year.
“We just don’t feel like that is the direction we need to be going, so we elected to disaffiliate,” he said.
Ford said there were “many factors” as to why the church feels its views differ from the theological standpoint of the United Methodist Church but was not yet ready to discuss any specific issues.
He did, however, say the issue that pertains to human sexuality is one of the factors.
The United Methodist Church has been locked in a years-long internal conflict concerning members of the LGBT community becoming ordained United Methodist ministers.
While 80.95 percent of the Porters Chapel congregation were in agreement to disaffiliate, of its 34 voting members, eight voted against disaffiliating. Ford said those members have chosen to leave the church.
Redwood’s 16 voting members and Eagle Lake’s eight voting members unanimously voted to disaffiliate.
On June 28, during the United Methodist Church’s conference, a vote is scheduled to take place to ratify the 189 churches that are seeking to disaffiliate and to determine if they have completed the required steps to leave the denomination.
Eagle Lake, Redwood and Porters Chapel United Methodist Church are included in that number.
Porters Chapel, like Eagle Lake and Redwood, has decided to affiliate with the Congregational Methodist Church, headquartered in Florence, Miss.