America's third-largest Christian denomination – the United Methodist Church – is splitting as conservative pastors aim to create a new denomination that will adhere to traditional biblical teachings.
Methodist church leaders have formed a new denomination – called the Global Methodist Church (GMC) – and filed for formal separation from the UMC over the latter's growing acceptance of modern teachings on sexuality and gender.
"In the United States, particularly, some bishops, clergy, and churches are operating in open defiance to the teachings of the United Methodist Church," said Keith Boyette, president of the conservative Wesleyan Covenant Association and spokesperson for the GMC. "The Church has become ungovernable as a consequence, such unchecked defiance has destroyed the integrity of the Church."
Boyette said the mission of the GMC will be "to make disciples of Jesus Christ who worship passionately, love extravagantly, and witness boldly."
The GMC filed for separation from the wider denomination on March 1 but has yet to hear back from UMC leaders on formally approving the split.
Working with the Wesleyan Covenant Association, the GMC said in a statement that it had created a working group in 2018 and held a conference in 2019 to explore these issues and see if there was a way to reconcile "issues that have deeply divided the UM Church for decades."