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Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church Approves Departure of 74 Churches

This more recent round of disaffiliation marks the last chance for Florida churches to leave the denomination before the Dec. 31 deadline.

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The Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church approved the official separation of 74 churches during a special conference session that was held virtually December 2.

This was the final opportunity for Florida churches to request disaffiliation before the Dec. 31 deadline and the global denomination meets in 2024. Two previous disaffiliation votes in the late spring and early summer totaled 120 churches. With this most recent vote, the Florida Conference has ballooned to 249 churches leaving the UMC since last year.

Nationwide, the UMC has approved more than 7,654 church departures since 2019. The swell of disaffiliations have come, in part, in response to lingering tension over biblical sexuality and LGBTQ issues.


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The denomination has wrestled with theological tension for decades over varying doctrinal issues. The bulk of denominational disagreement has come over the ordination of LGBTQ clergy and the denomination’s approval of same-sex marriage, which has come to a head in recent years. Many of the disaffiliating churches have joined the Global Methodist Church, which was launched in May 2022 as a conservative alternative to the UMC.

The process of disaffiliation requires at least a 66% approval vote from the local church’s congregation. Departing churches must pay a sum of money to the conference determined by a formula set in place by the church’s conference.

Churches nationwide have until December 31 to disaffiliate over “reasons of conscience.”

Main photo: Florida UMC Foundation in Lakeland, Florida / Screenshot from Google Map

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Daniel Ritchie

Daniel Ritchie is an evangelist, speaker and author from Wake Forest, NC. He has spoken nationally and internationally to churches, colleges, seminaries, conferences and professional sports teams. He is the author of two books - My Affliction for His Glory & Endure. He is a husband to Heather and daddy of two children.