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More than 200 Georgia congregations leave Methodist denomination over LGBTQ issue

A gay pride rainbow flag flies with the U.S. flag in front of the Asbury United Methodist Church in Prairie Village, Kan., on Friday, April 19, 2019. Associated Press/Photo by Charlie Riedel

More than 200 Georgia congregations leave Methodist denomination over LGBTQ issue

The North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church on Saturday voted to allow 261 congregations to disaffiliate from the denomination. There were previously about 700 UMC congregations in North Georgia—leaving it with about 440 now. More than 7,000 congregations have split from the denomination since 2019, and some have joined the newly formed Global Methodist Church.

Why are the churches breaking away? In 2019, the UMC decided to allow congregations to leave by the end of this year over the issue of blessing same-sex unions and the ordination of homosexual individuals. Current rules in the church’s Book of Discipline prohibit those practices, but many churches in the denomination have defied the rules. Many of the churches that have left the UMC hold to traditional Biblical views on marriage and sexuality. With their departures, the denomination may remove the ban on same-sex unions and ordaining homosexuals. 

Dig deeper: Read Elizabeth Russell’s report in WORLD Magazine about the churches leaving the United Methodist Church denomination.

Lauren Canterberry

Lauren Canterberry is a reporter for WORLD. She graduated from the World Journalism Institute and the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism, both in 2017. She worked as a local reporter in Texas and now lives in Georgia with her husband.

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