A recently launched theologically conservative alternative to the United Methodist Church is looking to expand its presence into the Southwestern and West Coast of the United States.
The Global Methodist Church, which was launched in 2022 and already has more than 4,200 member congregations, is in the process of expanding its presence in the westernmost states.
This has included recent efforts to plant new churches in the Southwest, as well as the possible creation of a new GMC regional body known as the Western States Provisional District.
GMC Transitional Connectional Officer Keith Boyette told The Christian Post that the Western States Provisional District is in the process of filing formation documents with the GMC’s Transitional Leadership Council, with the goal being for it to begin operations as an official Provisional District on May 3.
“Several of the local churches that will become members of the Western States Provisional District are new church plants; others are ones that disaffiliated from The United Methodist Church and voted to affiliate with the GM Church,” Boyette explained.
According to Boyette, compared with other UMC conferences, the terms for disaffiliation for churches in the UMC’s Western Jurisdiction were “very costly and bureaucratic,” making congregations that sought dismissal face “paying exorbitant fees, taking legal action in the hope of winning release from the UMC, or walking away from properties and assets worth millions of dollars.”
Boyette blamed the current lack of overall Methodism in the Western states on UMC clergy in the region who had “increasingly espoused progressive theological and social stances” starting in the 1970s.
“Free of the rebellion and dysfunction of the UMC’s Western Jurisdiction, the GMC is confident we will plant, grow and multiply local churches in the West. When Methodists hew to their warm-hearted, traditional expression of the Christian faith, they have always attracted people to their churches,” Boyette said, according to The Christian Post.