The First Methodist Church of Irving has officially severed its ties with the United Methodist Church denomination. The Irving church announced they have recently joined the Global Methodist Church, a more conservative denomination.
According to the church's statement, its new allegiance became effective on Saturday. The church was one of 41 local congregations that received the authority to quit the United Methodist Church's North Texas Conference in March.
First Methodist Church of Irving Joins Global Methodist Church
In the article in Dallas News, the First United Methodist Church in Irving, Texas, has recently been officially added as a member of the Global Methodist Church after having to go into a disaffiliation process from the United Methodist Church of the North Texas Conference. The congregation has over 500 members, showing their utmost excitement to create disciples of Jesus Christ worldwide.
Their acceptance and affiliation were celebrated on Palm Sunday, the start of the Holy Week. One of the church's transition team leaders, Mickey Wheeler, said it was the best time to initiate a change as they prepare to spread the good news more. Thirty-nine North Texas Conference disaffiliations, including the First Methodist Church in Irving, were effective on March 31. The Tyler Street UMC in Dallas and Korean North Central Fellowship UMC in The Colony are scheduled to disaffiliate by the end of April and December.
These disaffiliations are still connected to the efforts of these churches to leave the denomination by the end of 2023 because of internal conflicts, specifically over the disagreements on same-sex marriage and the LGBTQ members of the church. Conservatives believe this decision is not being enforced and that many seek to leave the denomination.
The Disaffiitaion Due to Issues in Homosexuality
Several emotions have rained at Christ United Methodist Church in Plano as hundreds of the members have gathered to approve the leaving of several local churches from the UMC denomination over the issues of homosexuality. According to NBC DFW, the North Texas Conference has approved 41 churches during a special session for them to leave the UMC.
This move is just part of the ongoing trend across the United States, as these churches disagree with the move of the UMC regarding same-sex marriage and sexuality concerns. Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. acknowledged the congregants' struggle of that day, saying that these other denominations would become independent while the others would join a new and more conservative denomination.
Last 2019, the UMC held a special session of the General Conference in St. Louis to address the denomination's stance on LGBTQ rights in the church. In the article in Denton Record-Article, the vote supported the viewpoint against same-sex marriage and the ordination of LGBTQ clergy.
Due to the pandemic, the annual General Conference in 2020 has been rescheduled for 2024. A proposal was made that would allow congregations and conferences that favor laws prohibiting same-sex unions and LGBTQ clergy from resigning from the United Methodist Church and joining a new, "traditionalist" denomination with property and $25 million. Following the third postponement of the General Conference, the Global Methodist Church began operations in May 2022.