First UMC to disaffiliate from United Methodist Church

Published 2:17 pm Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

First United Methodist Church in Washington will disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church. The disaffiliation will be complete by December 31, 2022. 


A vote was taken at the church on Monday evening (Oct. 3). A total 421 congregants voted – 295 voted to disaffiliate, but 126 voted to remain with the United Methodist Church fold. 


It took about an hour and a half for congregants to vote. Only congregants who were members of the church were allowed to vote. 


Now that First United Methodist Church has chosen to disaffiliate, they are in the process of joining the Global Methodist Church. The Global Methodist Church was established earlier this year in response to the United Methodist Church becoming more progressive in their views on allowing LGBTQ+ members of clergy and performing wedding ceremonies for gay couples. 


The United Methodist Church’s guidebook, called the Book of Discipline, states any congregation who chooses to disaffiliate will take ownership of the church property. Therefore, congregants who choose to remain United Methodist Church members will either decide to join another UMC church or start their own. 


First United Methodist Church in Washington was founded in 1800. The sanctuary that can be seen today on West Second Street was constructed in 1898, and a year later it was dedicated to the United Methodist Church. 


Washington Daily News reached out to First United Methodist Church Reverends Ken Hall and Stephen Bazan for comment. They did not respond by press time.