More than 100 former United Methodist churches sue in effort to split

by Seth Udinski

Seth Udinski, FISM News


The tension in the United Methodist Church continues to mount, as over 100 congregations in Florida have filed a lawsuit to formally split from the denomination as it marches toward a schism over the biblical doctrine of gender and sexuality.

According to a report from Religion News Service, 106 churches filed suit on July 14 in a court in Bradford County, Florida. The suit concerns the UMC’s strict punishments for churches who choose to leave, including the forfeiture of church property to the denomination and various fees.

Reports indicate that the majority of these churches have already begun the process to join the fast-growing Global Methodist Church – an organization of churches that have universally chosen to leave the United Methodist Church – in order to remain faithful to the biblical understanding of sexuality.

The Global Methodist Church launched in May of this year. After only two months in operation, it already includes more than 100 congregations worldwide.

“All of that has taken a situation that could have been and was directed in an amicable way toward resolution, [and made] it a very contentious, conflicted situation,” said Rev. Keith Boyette, leader of the Global Methodist Church.

“So, in my mind, it’s not surprising that churches feel like they have no recourse but to resort to litigation at this point, and that’s what essentially I believe that leadership in the United Methodist Church has invited by taking the steps that they’ve taken.”

As the Global Methodist Church continues to grow, what remains of the United Methodist Church appears to be on the verge of a widespread breakdown. Some are predicting the denomination will have no choice but to formally split at its thrice-delayed upcoming General Conference in 2024.