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.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

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.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

email author More by Terri Cowart