A Guide for

The United Methodist Church has been fractured by progressive bishops and church leaders who have rejected the clear teachings of Scripture about human sexuality and have ignored the UMC’s clear positions stated in the Book of Discipline.

Many United Methodist churches, which are committed to the truth and authority of Scripture, are choosing to disaffiliate from their denomination. At WBS, we encourage and support UMC churches that are choosing to disaffiliate in order to remain faithful to Scripture.

We hope this resource page will be helpful to pastors and lay people who want to lead their churches to remain faithful to Jesus and His Word.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are churches disaffiliating?

For decades, the United Methodist Church has been trending towards progressive theology that rejects the authority of Scripture, orthodox theology, and biblical sexual ethics. Although the Book of Discipline still affirms key biblical positions, many UMC conferences and leaders, along with most of the bishops, have ignored the Book of Discipline and rejected Scriptural teachings.

Churches are faced with the decision to remain in a denomination that rejects biblical truth or to disaffiliate and find another ecclesial family. Churches that don’t disaffiliate soon will be trapped in a denomination that denies the truth and authority of Scripture and embraces unbiblical teachings.

How does a church disaffiliate?

Paragraph 2553 in the Book of Discipline outlines the process for disaffiliation, although the details vary significantly by conference. Par. 2553 contains the following important information.

  • Churches must disaffiliate by December 31, 2023. The provisions of par. 2553 cease to be operative on that date. However, the process should be completed before the 2023 annual conference, so that the church can be approved for disaffiliation within the calendar year. Practically, this means that churches should have voted for disaffiliation by early 2023.
  • The district superintendent must call a church conference for any local church interested in disaffiliating. At this meeting, 2/3 of members present must approve the disaffiliation.
  • Churches which disaffiliate must pay the previous 12 months of apportionments and an additional 12 months of apportionments. Churches must also pay their portion of the unfunded pension liabilities, as determined by their annual conference.

What happens to our church building?

Once a church has disaffiliated, they will retain their church property.

What is my church’s next step?

A local church must notify its disctrict superintendent of an intent to explore disaffiliation. In many conferences, this request comes through the local church’s admin board.

Although your conference may be different, here is one conference’s process:

  • Admin board requests to begin disaffiliation consideration process
  • Conference presentation to the entire church
  • Period of discernment, decided by the church
  • Admin board votes to proceed to vote
  • District superintendent schedules church conference
  • Church conference votes on disaffiliation
  • If 2/3 majority approve disaffiliation, approval vote taken at 2023 annual conference

Who can help me start the disaffiliation process?

The Wesleyan Covenant Association has representatives in every conference who are available to help local churches navigate the disaffiliation process. You can find contact information for each WCA representative at this link.

Will my church still be part of a denomination if we disaffiliate?

Once a church disaffiliates, it is an independent entity. Churches have chosen to take different approaches to find a new ecclesial family. The majority of disaffiliating churches will join the Global Methodist Church, a new evangelical expression of Methodism. Other churches have chosen to join Wesleyan-Methodist denominations like the Independent Methodist Church and the Congregational Methodist Church.

It is important for churches to disaffiliate by the deadline, even if they haven’t decided what group or denomination to join next. That decision can take place in the future with an appropriate period of discernment.

Helpful Articles

Disaffiliation and the Coming Drop Deadline – Chris Ritter

United Methodist Church Exits Accelerate – Mark Tooley

Get to know WBS