Screenshot 2023-01-13 at 1.50.18 PM


Reporting the Truth.
Restoring the Church.

Fla. Conference of United Methodist Church Approves 46 More Disaffiliations

By Daniel Ritche
florida UMC
The Florida United Methodist Center in Lakeland, Florida. (Photo courtesy the UMC Florida Conference)

In the latest wave of departures from the United Methodist Church, the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church voted last week to approve the disaffiliation of another 46 churches. It was the conference’s second such vote this year.

The last vote, held in April, resulted in the disaffiliation of 55 churches, with a total of 30,000 congregants — 15% of the conference’s total membership. The conference estimates the value of assets held by the departing churches to be in the ballpark of $36 million.

These two votes bring the total number of disaffiliations from the Florida Conference to 120 since last year.

The most recent disaffiliations come in response to the conference approving the ordination of three openly gay clergy in June 2023.

This groundswell of church departures from the United Methodist Church is not relegated just to Florida. Since 2019, around 2,400 churches have disaffiliated from the UMC nationwide, according to the United Methodist News Service. As of spring 2023, 6% of churches have chosen to disaffiliate.

Your tax-deductible gift helps our journalists report the truth and hold Christian leaders and organizations accountable. Give a gift of $50 or more to The Roys Report this month, and you will receive a copy of “Ghosted: An American Story” by Nancy French. To donate, click here.

florida united methodist
The United Methodist Church logo, left, and a map of districts in the Florida Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. (Courtesy images)

The majority of departing churches — at least 2,000 of them — have joined the more conservative Global Methodist Church. The GMC launched in spring 2022 in response to the growing chasm within the UMC over LGBTQ+ issues.

There will likely continue to be a significant number of disaffiliations between now and the end of the year due to stipulations of disaffiliation rules laid out in 2019, which specify that congregations wishing to leave over “reasons of conscience” must do so before Dec. 31, 2023.

The departures don’t come without pain. Pastor Marc O’Neal summarized the thoughts of many in the UMC when he told the Coastland Times, “It hurts my heart that we’ve gotten to this point yet at the same time I do recognize that for churches to flourish is probably necessary. Whether churches decide to stay or go I just pray that all of us learn to put this behind us and move forward in doing Kingdom work.”

This article originally appeared at MinistryWatch.

Daniel Ritchie is a contributor to MinistryWatch. 



Keep in touch with Julie and get updates in your inbox!

Don’t worry we won’t spam you.

More to explore

Leave a Reply

The Roys Report seeks to foster thoughtful and respectful dialogue. Toward that end, the site requires that people register before they begin commenting. This means no anonymous comments will be allowed. Also, any comments with profanity, name-calling, and/or a nasty tone will be deleted.
MOST popular articles

Book Giveaway!

Enter your email below for a chance to win a copy of The Way of the Dragon or the Way of the Lamb by Jamin Goggin and Kyle Strobel. 

We’re giving away 5 copies randomly to those who respond by midnight on Wednesday.

*New subscribers in U.S. only. You will receive the Daily News Digest.