First United Methodist disaffiliates from Together BR
BATON ROUGE – One of the largest member-churches of Together Baton Rouge has disaffiliated with the organization.
First United Methodist Church on North Boulevard in downtown pulled its support of Together Baton Rouge.
While a statement from the church did not tie its decision to recent controversial political maneuvers, sources said some church members were frustrated and asked the church to split from the group.
"The mission of the United Methodist Church is to 'Make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.' As part of our effort to focus fully on that mission, the Church Council of First United Methodist Church of Baton Rouge voted on January 28, 2019 to discontinue the church’s membership in Together Baton Rouge (TBR). The Church Council's decision was not based on TBR’s merits or whether we agree or disagree with TBR’s position on issues in our community, but on our desire to remain focused on our mission. We support much of the work TBR has done in our community and encourage individual congregants who are so led to continue their support of and work with TBR."
The church leaving Together Baton Rouge comes after a public fight over the Industrial Tax Exemption Program and the controversy that followed.
Nearly 40 other churches in the capital area are "member organizations," according to Together BR's website.