NEW ORLEANS — (11-04-22) — A total of 47 Louisiana Churches have voted to leave United Methodist Church over Gay Marriage and LGBT issues. The latest to vote to exit the UMC was North Shore’s largest congregations, St. Timothy’s Church.

While there are over six million members of the United Methodist denomination in the United State, members are extremely divided over same-sex marriage and LGBT rights.

Some in the Methodist church advocate for the inclusion of LGBTQ+ Christians, while others feel strongly that the church should uphold its current stance against gay pastors and same-sex marriage.

“It has been an interesting time for the United Methodist Church,” said Rev. Van Stinson, with the Louisiana Conference of the UMC.

For 50 years, St. Timothy’s United Methodist Church has been one of Mandeville’s largest, boasting 6,000 members and a variety of community outreach programs.

“The fundamental issue is the inclusion of LGBTQ individuals in the full life and ministry of the church through marriage and ordination,” said Rev. Stinson.

On Sun., Oct. 30, 858 of an estimated 6,000 members in Mandeville voted on disaffiliation. Of those who turned out, 92% voted in favor of separating from the United Methodist Church.

“It’s widely accepted that when the general conference meets, they will change the teaching so that marriage is allowed between any two adults and that self-avowed LGBTQ people can be ordained as clergy,” said Bishop Scott Jones, with Cornerstone-Houston UMC in one online video.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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