Hundreds of United Methodist Churches across Texas approved to disaffiliate
Two in Bryan College Station will be joining the Global Methodist Church
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Hundreds of United Methodist Church congregations around Texas have voted to leave the denomination this year, citing disagreements on gay marriage.
This includes two local churches, First United Methodist Church in Bryan and Christ United Methodist Church in College Station. On Saturday, the Texas Annual Conference in Houston had a delegation that approved their disaffiliation, along with almost 300 others.
According to the Texas Annual Conference, almost half of the 498 UMC Churches in the region encompassing Galveston, Houston, College Station, Beaumont Texarkana, Longview, Tyler, and towns in between, are now disaffiliated.
But, this isn’t the end of UMC in Bryan College Station.
Reverend Preston Greenwaldt, the Lead Pastor at A&M United Methodist Church, says they believe in the UMC and they aren’t wavering.
“It was overwhelming. 94% of the church council said ‘we don’t want to enter into a discussion to talk about it because we believe in the United Methodist Church, we believe in how we’re growing in it, how we’re thriving in and how we’re following Jesus as United Methodists,’” Greenwaldt said. “Our whole purpose being here is to open our doors and say, ‘come find Jesus here’. And that’s what I think we’re called to do together is to say, look, we’re all called to be in a relationship with God, what can we do as A&M United Methodist Church to invite you to come and be a part of that?”
While they’re losing some UMC connections in the area, Greenwaldt says that doesn’t change their shared belief and goal.
“It does make me sad to lose brothers and sisters outside of the dominance and to another denomination. However, one of the things that we believe here is to follow Jesus, we don’t have to be uniform. We don’t all have to look the same. We get to follow Jesus and be unified in what it means to follow and love Jesus as our Savior,” he said.
On Saturday, two conferences around the state, in Lubbock and Houston, a total of almost 450 UMC Churches in the state disaffiliated.
According to UMC, out of over 30,000 UMC churches in the U.S., less than 2,000 have disaffiliated. Many of those are in Texas.
Those disaffiliating are joining the Global Methodist Church.
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