East Texas churches part ways from the United Methodist Church
NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Dozens of East Texas churches have voted to leave the United Methodist Church this past weekend due to conflicting views within the denomination.
Within the Texas Annual Conference, which covers the Houston area and East Texas, 294 churches were approved to leave the denomination, including the Perritte Memorial United Methodist church in Nacogdoches.
“There’s still a grief that we experience because of the fact there is a disconnect now between a body that so many people have been a part of their entire life,” said Pastor Brad McKenzie.
The votes began at the local level, meaning “it really was a congregational decision,” McKenzie said, explaining that 85% of their congregation voted for the disaffiliation due to differences in views over the scripture and interpretations of Orthodox Christianity and Methodism.
“We never tried to focus on one particular issue or social agenda in particular that tried to be the reason why that we might want to disaffiliate,” he said.
It was a unanimous vote to move forward to join the Global Methodist Church. “We did it with understanding that not everybody agrees with everything, but we can still have love and grace for one another even if we disagree,” said McKenzie.
He also hopes people do not view the decision in a bad light but rather “as the natural thing that happens in life sometimes when groups get large enough that opinions and viewpoints become divergent -- that it’s better for us to find ways to operate in our own place.”
Many more churches are expected to depart in the coming months, and for those that have already made the decision, their transfer will officially take effect Jan. 1.
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