Conservative Methodist Group Shuts Down, Says Goal Met By New Denomination

By Anne Stych
methodist church exit nc North Georgia confessing conservative group
A congregation affiliated with the United Methodist Church. (Photo via Wesleyan Covenant Assoc.)

The Confessing Movement, a lay-led conservative Christian movement that pushed back against the influence of liberalism and progressivism in the United Methodist Church, has shut down in reaction to the recent launch of a new conservative Methodist denomination.

The group’s executive director, Patricia Miller, told The Christian Post the group felt their goal had been accomplished by the formation of the Global Methodist Church, thus the movement was no longer needed.

“We believe, with the launching of the Global Methodist Church, our goal for a faithful denomination has been met,” Miller said.

“Our goal has been to bring the United Methodist Church into a faithfulness with our doctrine, with our belief about Jesus Christ the Son, Savior and Lord,” she said. “And so, now, the Global Methodist Church is faithful to that. So, the Global Methodist Church does not need a renewal group.”

The Confessing Movement was formed in 1994 in response to what it described in the final issue of its newsletter as a “stormy” season in the life of the United Methodist Church, when liberal churches began to question language that was added to the denomination’s Book of Discipline in 1972 saying that “the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.”

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Miller became executive director of the movement in 1997.

The Global Methodist Church, a new theologically conservative denomination, splintered from the United Methodist Church in May after decades of debate over the ordination and marriage of individuals who identify as LGBTQ.

Delegates to a 2019 special session approved verbiage reflecting traditional views of sexuality and marriage, but progressive United Methodists pledged to disregard it.

methodist split
Logo of the Global Methodist Church (Courtesy image)

The denomination finally came to an agreement last year to create a separate “traditionalist” Methodist denomination that would receive $25 million over the next four years.

More than 1,300 United Methodist churches have disaffiliated from the denomination in the past few years, with 80% to 90% expected to eventually join the Global Methodist Church.

Miller said while her role with the Confessing Movement is ending, her experience with Methodism will not.

“I love the Wesleyan faith and the ministry of John Wesley,” she said. “There are many new opportunities ahead for all of us. I encourage you to join me in the new Methodist movement.”

This article originally appeared at MinistryWatch and is reprinted with permission.

Anne StycheAnne Stych is a freelance writer, copy editor, proofreader and content manager covering science, technology, retail, and nonprofits. She writes for American City Business Journals’ BizWomen and MinistryWatch.

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3 thoughts on “Conservative Methodist Group Shuts Down, Says Goal Met By New Denomination”

  1. Anne,

    You said, “The denomination finally came to an agreement last year to create a separate “traditionalist” Methodist denomination that would receive $25 million over the next four years.”

    I don’t know if you are aware, but this is very misleading. There was a protocol for separation that was endorsed by a number of groups late 2019, but that protocol is the reason that there was not a General Conference in 2022. The current Global Methodist Church has left without a dollar, to which they might be entitled, and the protocol is dead in the water. All the progressives who endorsed it withdrew their support this year.

    I also like to add that the $25 million was to keep the international conferences and seminaries funded. Something the United Methodist Church is currently antagonistic to.

  2. Membership in the Methodist church has been declining for decades I know many left before I did, which has been decades ago besides.

    There were conservative movements in the Methodist Church even in the late 1970s. Many reasons have been given for methodist church membership decline for example this Washington post article done in 1985.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/1985/09/07/united-methodists-alarmed-by-empty-pews/db664b00-56be-4693-b8c0-36aa3d9a9905/

    https://tinyurl.com/3f7vzt7h

    Very interesting article about the regional divisions in the Methodist Church in that time period.

    It was blaming the lack of Sunday school attendance for major portion of the decline. This is only partly true. I think many members like myself who left knew politics had nothing to do with Christianity❗👎

    As a Roys Report pointed out –The Methodist Church won’t disappear.

    https://julieroys.com/umc-schism-four-years-gush-trickle-methodist-disaffiliation/

    Evangelicals have nothing to be overjoyed about, being involved in politics won’t help the growth of evangelical churches either.

    “Mainline Protestants Are Still Declining, But That’s Not Good News for Evangelicals”

    https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2021/july/mainline-protestant-evangelical-decline-survey-us-nones.html

    I might suppose that Phil Johnson might have nuanced his stance on politics, since his boss, John MacArthur, became so partisan? It’s a pity if he did.

    “…Before I became a Christian, I was a hard-core, obsessive political activist. Throughout my high-school years, I thought I wanted to be either a politician or a newspaper pundit when I grew up….But when I became a Christian, I gave that passion up for something infinitely better—something of eternal value: the gospel of Christ….”

    From:

    “Politically Incorrect?”

    https://www.gty.org/library/print/articles/A222

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