"First United Methodist Church Indianola, Iowa" by Paul R. Burley / CC BY-SA 4.0

Georgia Church Leaves United Methodist Over LGBTQ Clergy, Same-Sex Marriage

Sep 8, 2020

By Scott Neuman

A local church in Georgia that supports LGBTQ rights says it is splitting from the United Methodist Church, becoming the first congregation in the country to act on a growing rift between progressives and conservatives within the denomination.

Asbury Memorial Church in Savannah announced Thursday that it was disaffiliating with the UMC, which moved last year to reaffirm rather than drop a ban on LGBTQ clergy and same-sex weddings, disappointing many liberal-minded congregants.

The church said in a statement that it believes it is the first U.S. church to leave the denomination over UMC’s “unequal treatment of LGBTQ people.”

It said that the UMC’s South Georgia Conference last month voted to allow it to split and that Asbury “looks forward to a bright future as an independent non-denominational church.”

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