28 Upstate churches set to leave United Methodist Church

Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 1:36 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina/AP) - 28 Upstate churches are set to leave the denomination at the end of June after their separation from the United Methodist Church (UMC) was approved over disputes about LGBTQ+ issues.

The Upstate locations are among a total of 113 across South Carolina whose members voted to separate from UMC’s 2023 South Carolina Annual Conference, which “overwhelmingly approved the closure” of the churches, according to a news release from the conference.

Conservative leaders within the United Methodist Church unveiled plans Monday to form a new denomination, the Global Methodist Church, with a doctrine that does not recognize same-sex marriage.

These churches, having completed the Local Church Discernment Process, determined that they can no longer function as a United Methodist church because they firmly believe that the denomination has not consistently upheld its stated doctrine on issues of human sexuality. The UMC Book of Discipline prohibits performing same-gender weddings and the ordination of “self-avowed practicing homosexuals.”

The move could hasten the long-expected breakup of the UMC over differing approaches to LGBTQ inclusion. For now, the UMC is the largest mainline Protestant church in the U.S. and second only to the Southern Baptist Convention, an evangelical denomination, among all U.S. Protestant churches.

“We pray for these churches that have chosen a different journey,” Bishop L. Jonathan Holston said after the vote. “May we also acknowledge that that which binds us will never leave us. In the midst of our separation, may we show each other the grace and love that you demonstrated through your sacrifice on the cross and your resurrection from the grave.”

Here’s a list of all the SC churches set to close effective June 30, 2023:

Anderson District

  • St. Andrew UMC (Easley)
  • Chiquola UMC (Honea Path)
  • Bells UMC (Abbeville)
  • Salem UMC (Salem)

Charleston District

  • Aldersgate UMC (North Charleston)
  • Charleston Korean UMC (North Charleston)
  • Friendship UMC (Cross)
  • Pinopolis UMC (Pinopolis)
  • Point Hope UMC (Mt. Pleasant)

Columbia District

  • Columbia Korean UMC (Columbia)
  • Rehoboth UMC (Batesburg-Leesville)
  • Chapin UMC (Chapin)
  • Lebanon UMC (Eastover)
  • Mt. Horeb UMC (Lexington)
  • Pond Branch UMC (Gilbert)

Florence District

  • Cades UMC (Cades)
  • Cameron UMC (Lake City)
  • First UMC (Hemingway)
  • St. Paul UMC (Coward)
  • Ebenezer UMC (Hemingway)
  • Old Johnsonville UMC (Johnsonville)
  • Mt. Vernon UMC (Greeleyville)
  • Prospect UMC (Pamplico)
  • Lane UMC (Lane)
  • Liberty Chapel UMC (Florence)
  • New Zion UMC (New Zion)
  • Pine Grove UMC (Timmonsville)
  • Pisgah UMC (Florence)
  • Cedar Swamp UMC (Kingstree)
  • Millwood UMC (Kingstree)
  • Tabernacle UMC (Pamplico)
  • Shiloh UMC-Turbeville (Lynchburg)
  • Trinity UMC-New Zion (Alcolu)
  • Trio UMC (Salters)
  • Pine Grove UMC (Turbeville)
  • Salem UMC (Timmonsville)
  • Earle UMC (Andrews)
  • Suttons UMC (Andrews)
  • Good Hope UMC (Hemingway)
  • St Luke UMC-Kingstree (Salters)

Greenville District

  • Dials UMC (Gray Court)
  • Shiloh UMC (Gray Court)
  • Buncombe Street UMC (Greenville)
  • Covenant UMC (Greer)
  • Sharon UMC (Greer)
  • Zoar UMC (Greer)
  • Mauldin UMC (Mauldin)
  • Mountain View UMC (Taylors)

Greenwood District

  • Hodges UMC (Hodges)
  • Shiloh UMC (Saluda)
  • Butler UMC (Saluda)
  • McCormick UMC (McCormick)

Hartsville District

  • Concord UMC (Bishopville)
  • Dalzell UMC (Dalzell)
  • Lewis Chapel UMC (Sumter)
  • Bethel-Oswego UMC (Sumter)
  • McLeod Chapel UMC (Rembert)
  • St. John UMC (Rembert)
  • St. John UMC (Sumter)
  • St. Mark’s UMC-Broad Street (Sumter)
  • St. Matthew UMC (Bishopville)
  • Beulah UMC (Camden)

Marion District

  • Trinity UMC (Andrews)
  • Wayne UMC (Georgetown)
  • Bethel UMC-Georgetown (Andrews)
  • Aynor UMC (Aynor)
  • Rehoboth UMC-Aynor (Galivants Ferry)
  • First UMC (Bennettsville)
  • Zoan UMC (Loris)
  • Antioch UMC (Bennettsville)
  • Christ UMC (Bennettsville)
  • Pisgah UMC (Aynor)
  • Boykin UMC (Bennettsville)
  • Trinity UMC (Clio)
  • Pine Grove UMC (McColl)
  • Smyrna UMC (Bennettsville)
  • Berea UMC (McColl)
  • Main Street (Dillon)
  • First UMC (Loris)
  • Main Street UMC (McColl)
  • Brown Swamp UMC (Conway)
  • Oak Grove UMC (Wallace)
  • Pleasant Hill UMC (Marion/Wallace)
  • Center UMC (Mullins)
  • Tranquil UMC (Mullins)

Orangeburg District

  • Limestone UMC (Orangeburg)
  • Ebenezer UMC-Orange Circuit (North)
  • Cattle Creek UMC (Rowesville)

Rock Hill District

  • Grace Community UMC (Fort Mill)
  • Capers Chapel UMC (Chester)
  • Catawba UMC (Catawba)
  • New Hope UMC (Chester)
  • Armenia UMC (Chester)
  • Mt. Vernon UMC (Hickory Grove)
  • Bethel UMC (Lancaster)

Spartanburg District

  • Wesley Chapel UMC (Union)
  • Liberty UMC-Campobello (Landrum)
  • Buffalo UMC (Buffalo)
  • Campobello UMC (Campobello)
  • Carlisle UMC (Carlisle)
  • Bethlehem UMC-Jonesville (Union)
  • Sardis UMC (Union)
  • Fosters Chapel UMC (Jonesville)
  • Lyman UMC (Lyman)
  • Roebuck UMC (Roebuck)
  • Reidville Road UMC (Moore)
  • Walnut Grove UMC (Roebuck)

Walterboro District

  • Tillman UMC (Tillman)
  • Cottageville UMC (Cottageville)
  • Cypress UMC (Ridgeville)
  • Mt. Tabor UMC (Ridgeville)
  • Trinity UMC (Ridgeville)
  • St. Paul UMC (Ridgeland)

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