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Conservative Global Methodist Church has grown to more than 4,200 congregations

The split in the United Methodist Church over biblical sexuality has continued to gain momentum in 2023. The Global Methodist Church, a theologically conservative alternative to the liberal mainline denomination, now has more than 4,200 congregations.

“The current member congregations are predominantly former UMC congregations, but we do have member congregations that have come from other denominations, were previously nondenominational or independent, or that are new church plants that have already been recognized as member congregations,” the group’s Keith Boyette told “The Christian Post.”

Other United Methodist churches both within and outside the United States are attempting to affiliate with the GMC, and more are expected to join after the UMC General Conference this spring. In the past several decades, there has been a schism in the UMC over whether to change its Book of Discipline to permit same-sex marriage and the blessing of same-sex unions. However, past efforts to change the Book of Discipline were largely unsuccessful because of the voting power of mostly theologically conservative delegates from Africa.

READ: United Methodists leave UMC, form own denomination

Nevertheless, many theological liberals within the UMC refused to abide by the Book of Discipline by officiating same-sex unions or ordaining openly gay clergy. In 2022, the UMC Western Jurisdiction voted to make the Rev. Cedrick D. Bridgeforth of the California-Pacific Conference a bishop despite him being in a same-sex marriage.

During a special session of the 2019 UMC General Conference, delegates voted to add Paragraph 2553 to the Book of Discipline, which granted a temporary process for congregations to disaffiliate from the UMC in light of the debate over homosexuality. However, provisions of Paragraph 2553 expired at the end of 2023.

The Global Methodist Church describes its mission as “to make disciples of Jesus Christ who worship passionately, love extravagantly and witness boldly.”

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