95 La. churches cut ties with their denomination over ideology disagreements

4 months 3 days 17 hours ago Saturday, May 27 2023 May 27, 2023 May 27, 2023 4:53 PM May 27, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE-  The Louisiana United Methodist Church lost 40% of its churches Saturday.

The church held a special session to vote on whether they should allow 95 churches across the state to exit. 

Read the full list of churches that left the denomination here.

"We realize in this, the loss of some friends, colleagues, and communal relationships," Bishop Delores J. Williamston said.

It isn't clear why each individual house of worship asked to disaffiliate from the denomination, but there are several issues officials say are to blame including disagreements on how to interpret the Bible and the churches' stance on sexuality.

"We are making everything about so much more than what it really is," one woman, Lori Spangler, spoke in favor of the exit.

Currently, the church punishes ministers who officiate same-sex marriages, and the church forbids LGBTQ clergy members.

"The last two people that joined our church were two young ladies who are lesbian," Spangler said. "We have children who are married and in same-sex relationships. We didn't take anything lightly. We were praying, we were broken, but yet we were so unified because in the end, we just want to do ministry."

Not everyone threw up a green card during the voting.

"I have no concern about the process, or the money, or the land, I simply want to be the vote that says don't go," Ann Sutton, a retired clergy member, said.

Some spoke against the idea of allowing the churches to immediately cut ties.

"Our churches are going to be leaving today, leaving none of their assets for the administration of connectionism of Methodism in Louisiana," Ray Brandon said.

The churches will become disaffiliated by Wednesday. Churches all over the nation are going through the same disaffiliation process. 

Watch the full session here.

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