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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is happening? How did we get here? Why would we consider disaffiliating from The United Methodist Church? 

A. For decades United Methodists have disagreed on the interpretation and authority of scripture surrounding the issues of human sexuality and more specifically, on whether homosexual persons can be ordained as ministers and married in the church.

Since 1972, the United Methodist Book of Discipline has consistently maintained the biblical teaching that all persons are children of God, created with sacred worth, and are welcome in the church. The Book of Discipline has also maintained that the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching, that homosexual persons may not be married in UMC churches, that UMC ministers may not officiate such weddings, and that self-avowed practicing homosexual persons cannot be ordained as UMC clergy.

This topic was the focus of a Special Session of the General Conference (the global governing body) of the UMC in 2019. At that time, the traditional teaching embodied in the Book of Discipline since 1972 was once again affirmed.

However, the division between United Methodists with traditional interpretation of scripture and United Methodists with more progressive interpretation of scripture became clearer and the conflict and disobedience of some denomination leaders intensified. 

Continued divisions culminated in a called vote on a proposed path forward that would allow for traditional and progressive United Methodists to go their separate ways. However, COVID-19 pandemic prompted the postponement of the 2020 General Conference to 2024.

In the wake of this postponement, The Global Methodist Church launched on May 1, 2022, providing an expression of Wesleyan Christianity for traditionally minded Methodists. 

Additional Resources: 

Navigating the Waters with Grace and Respect - Webinar 1 with Bishop Scott Jones - March 18, 2022

Navigating the Waters with Grace and Respect - Webinar 2 with Bishop Scott Jones - May 11, 2022

Why Remain United Methodist? 

UMC - Homepage of The United Methodist Church

UMC - What We Believe - A Summary of United Methodist Doctrine and Polity

UMC - Is The UMC Really...? Part One

UMC - Is The UMC Really...? Part Two

Texas Annual Conference UMC Video - Shared at TXCUMC Future Discernment Task Force

That We May Be One (TWMBO) - UMC TXAC Centrist Group

That We May Be One UMC Mythbusting and Info Documents

A Future With Hope for the UMC - Rev. Adam Hamilton and Clergy Panel from Texas Annual Conference from Chapelwood UMC in Houston address the "Big Tent" approach of a denomination of traditionalists, centrists, and progressives and argue that 

That We May Be One - YouTube Interviews with Texas Annual Conference UMC pastors Rev. DeAndre Johnson (Associate, Memorial Drive UMC, Houston), Dr. Tom Pace (Senior Pastor, St. Lukes UMC, Houston), Dr. John Stephens (Senior Pastor, Chapelwood UMC, Houston), Rev. Lawrence Young (Senior Pastor, Klein UMC), Rev. Emily Chapman (Senior Pastor, St. Marks, Houston) and Rev. Lindsey Kirkpatrick (Senior Pastor, Asbury UMC, Pasadena) hosted by Rev. Adam Hamilton (Senior Pastor, Church of the Resurrection, Leawood, Kansas) 

Why Disaffiliate and Join The Global Methodist Church? 

GMC - Homepage of The Global Methodist Church

GMC - What We Believe - A Summary of Global Methodist Doctrine and Polity

GMC Frequently Asked Questions 

Texas Annual Conference GMC Video - Shared at TXCUMC Future Discernment Task Force

Texas Wesleyan Covenant Association - TXAC Traditionalist Group

Texas Wesleyan Covenant Association Rebuts That We May Be One Doc

Differences that Divide the UMC - Retired UMC and President of Good News pastor Rob Renfroe presents the divergent views of Methodists on the Bible, Jesus, and Human Sexuality and argues why "It is time for Traditionalists to leave" and join a new denomination. 

Global Methodist Church - Thursday Night Live - YouTube Interviews with Global Methodist Church leaders Rev. Keith Boyette (Global Methodist Church, Transitional Leadership Council),  Bishop Mike Lowry (Retired, Central Texas Conference), Rev. Rob Renfroe (Retired, Good News Magazine), Rev. Jessica LaGrone (Dean of Chapel, Asbury Seminary, Global Methodist Transitional Leadership Council), and hosted by Rev. Dr. Sterling Allen (Associate Pastor, Good Shepherd UMC, Cypress). 

Collections of Other Articles For Those Who Want Further Study: 

People Need Jesus - Compendium of Articles related to current denominational difficulties 

"The Fifty Year Fight over Scripture and Sexuality" - Rev. Chris Ritter provides a history from 1972-2022. 

"A Pastoral Conversation Regarding Homosexuality and Same-Sex Marriage in the Church" and "The Other End of that Pastoral Conversation Regarding Homosexuality and Same-Sex Marriage in the Church"  Rev. Dr. Tom Pace and Rev. Dr. Chappell Temple. Two TAC pastors write in conversation over their differing understanding of homosexuality. 

Q. What is discernment? Why is First Methodist Conroe entering into this time of discernment now?

A:  “Discernment, at its core, is about prayerfully understanding what God is calling a congregation to be in ministry to their missional context.” 

The circumstances surrounding our denomination have led the leadership of First Methodist Conroe to strongly support a vote on denominational affiliation this Fall.

While we are uncertain which direction the vote will go, we believe the vote is needed and that it is best held sooner rather than later. First Methodist Conroe needs clarity now on which denominational affiliation will best support the mission and vision of this congregation as we move forward in the planting of The Woodlands Hills worship community.

The postponement of the 2020 General Conference to not meet until 2024 has impacted the Texas Annual Conference (TAC) in several ways.

  • Under the provisions of the Book of Discipline paragraph 2553, adopted at the 2019 Special Session of General Conference, the Texas Annual Conference has adopted a process that allows congregations to disaffiliate from the UMC in a spirit of grace and respect. Paragraph 2553 provides a pathway for congregations to disaffiliate from the UMC and retain its property. However, paragraph 2553 expires on December 31, 2023, and at this time, there is no clarity as to what the disaffiliation process might look like in the future. The Annual Conference has the authority to amend or rescind the principles of disaffiliation that it approved in 2020, as long as the action does not conflict with the current Book of Discipline.
  • Our Bishop Scott Jones announced his retirement effective December 31, 2022. His retirement, the uncertainty of who will be the next appointed Bishop, and the possibility that in the future the Texas Annual Conference could reflect the progressive values seen presently in other parts of the denomination, has led many congregations, including ours, to begin a discernment process.
  • The Global Methodist Church (GMC) officially launched on May 1, 2022, providing a new denomination for traditional Methodists to align with.

Q. What is the discernment process that First Methodist Conroe will follow? 

A: As defined by the Texas Annual Conference, discernment as a period of understanding the congregation, hearing from the membership about their hopes for the future, and determining where God is calling your church. This process is grounded in prayer, information, and communication. Each local church’s discernment will be a process proposed by the local church and approved by the district superintendent. The process should begin with a majority vote of the leadership board to begin a discernment period.

On June 2nd, the First Methodist Conroe Leadership Team voted to approve the formation of a Discernment Task Force to develop a recommendation on how to move forward.

On July 11th, the Leadership Team approved the recommendation by the Discernment Task Force for a church-wide discernment period culminating in a Church Conference vote on October 9, 2022, to answer the question:

“Which denominational affiliation will best support the mission and vision of First Methodist Conroe both now and in the future?”

Q. Who can vote at the First Methodist Conroe Called Church Conference on October 9, 2022? How do we vote?

A: A Called Church Conference vote to decide First Methodist Conroe’s future denominational affiliation will be held on Sunday, October 9th at 4 p.m. in the Sanctuary.

All professing members of First Methodist Conroe are eligible to vote in person at the meeting by written ballot.

According to the Book of Discipline (2553) and the rules laid out by the Texas Annual Conference, "The decision to disaffiliate from The United Methodist Church must be approved by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the professing members of the local church present at the church conference.”

  • Professing members must be present at the church conference to vote
  • There are no proxy votes. Each professing member will receive a pre-printed ballot upon check-in at the Church Conference on October 9th, 2022. A process for pre-registration will be available. Those who pre-register must be present to receive ballot and vote on October 9th. 
  • There are no alternate days/times to vote. Voting will only take place in the FMC Sanctuary at 4 PM on October 9th, 2022. 
  • The quorum will be set by those professing members present. Ballots will be pre-printed and available at check-in. The quorum will be announced and the decision to disaffiliate from The United Methodist Church must be approved by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the professing members of the local church present, that is the quorum, at the Church Conference.
  • The Church Conference will be presided over by Central North District Superintendant Rev. Dr. Jeff Olive. Tellers will be elected by the Church Conference 

Q. Who is a professing member? Can my confirmed youth vote?

A: A baptized person (confirmed youth and adult) who has taken UMC church membership vows to declare the Christian faith at First Methodist Conroe. Active and retired clergy are not professing members of the local church and thus ineligible to vote.

To verify your membership please contact Tommi Hamilton at .  

We will host our regularly scheduled New Membership Course on September 11. This will be the last opportunity to receive new members before the Church Conference. The next regularly scheduled New Membership Course will be in November.

For more information contact Pastor Bryan Moore at

Q. How can I confirm that I am a professing member of First Methodist Conroe and eligible to vote on October 9, 2022?

A: To verify membership, contact Tommi Hamilton at before September 30. 

We will host our regularly scheduled New Membership Course on September 11. For more information contact Pastor Bryan Moore at

Q. What are the denominational affiliation options for First Methodist Conroe? How do I get more information on the affiliation options for our church?

A: The Leadership Team and Discernment Task Force encourage you to attend Conference and District informational meetings to gather available information regarding First Methodist Conroe’s options for future affiliation along with the benefits and drawbacks of each as it pertains to theological, organizational, financial, and other implications.

  • Stay informed by regularly going to our church website, www.fmconroe.org/fmcdiscernment and reading the most current updates. You will find the discernment timeline, pertinent information and answers to “Frequently Asked Questions,” and an opportunity to ask your questions.
  • Commit to attend the upcoming events for further information and discussion. 
    • August 13 – 10:00 to 11:30 AM – John Wesley UMC – 5830 Bermuda Dunes Drive, Houston, TX. Central North District meeting with the TAC Future Discernment Task Force (FDTF). This meeting will include presentations from Bishop Scott Jones, District Superintendent Jeff Olive, Conference Treasurer Carol Bruse and Texas Annual Conference representatives from the FDTF and a Q&A session. FDTF meetings in previous districts and accompanying information can be found https://www.txcumc.org/FDTF
    • August 14 – 4 PM FMC Sanctuary – Town Hall #1 (English)  6 PM FMC Faith Chapel – Town Hall #1 (Spanish) Presentations from FMC Leadership Team and Bishop Scott Jones explaining the process, options, and Q&A. Please pre-submit questions HERE. 
    • September 18 – 4 PM FMC Sanctuary – Town Hall #2 (English) 6 PM FMC Faith Chapel – Town Hall #2 (Spanish) Presentations from official representatives from The Global Methodist Church and The United Methodist Church and Q&A. Please pre-submit questions HERE.

Q. What is the Book of Discipline?

A: The Book of Discipline reflects our Wesleyan way of serving Christ through doctrine and disciplined Christian life. We are a worldwide denomination united by doctrine, discipline, and mission through our connectional covenant. The Book of Discipline expresses that unity.

The latest full version is dated 2016 with additional changes made at the Special Called Session of General Conference in 2019. The Book of Discipline can be found online here.  The 2019 additions and edits can be found here. 

Q. What are some of the differences between the United Methodist Church (UMC) and the Global Methodist Church (GMC)?

A: Please click on this link to see the most recent comparison of the UMC and the GMC.

UMC-GMC Comparison Chart by TXCUMC FDTF

Why Remain United Methodist? 

UMC - Homepage of The United Methodist Church

UMC - What We Believe - A Summary of United Methodist Doctrine and Polity

UMC - Is The UMC Really...? Part One

UMC - Is The UMC Really...? Part Two

Texas Annual Conference UMC Video - Shared at TXCUMC Future Discernment Task Force

That We May Be One (TWMBO) - UMC TXAC Centrist Group

That We May Be One UMC Mythbusting and Info Documents

A Future With Hope for the UMC - Rev. Adam Hamilton and Clergy Panel from Texas Annual Conference from Chapelwood UMC in Houston address the "Big Tent" approach of a denomination of traditionalists, centrists, and progressives and argue that 

That We May Be One - YouTube Interviews with Texas Annual Conference UMC pastors Rev. DeAndre Johnson (Associate, Memorial Drive UMC, Houston), Dr. Tom Pace (Senior Pastor, St. Lukes UMC, Houston), Dr. John Stephens (Senior Pastor, Chapelwood UMC, Houston), Rev. Lawrence Young (Senior Pastor, Klein UMC), Rev. Emily Chapman (Senior Pastor, St. Marks, Houston) and Rev. Lindsey Kirkpatrick (Senior Pastor, Asbury UMC, Pasadena) hosted by Rev. Adam Hamilton (Senior Pastor, Church of the Resurrection, Leawood, Kansas) 

Why Disaffiliate and Join The Global Methodist Church? 

GMC - Homepage of The Global Methodist Church

GMC - What We Believe - A Summary of Global Methodist Doctrine and Polity

GMC Frequently Asked Questions 

Texas Annual Conference GMC Video - Shared at TXCUMC Future Discernment Task Force

Texas Wesleyan Covenant Association - TXAC Traditionalist Group

Texas Wesleyan Covenant Association Rebuts That We May Be One Doc

Differences that Divide the UMC - Retired UMC and President of Good News pastor Rob Renfroe presents the divergent views of Methodists on the Bible, Jesus, and Human Sexuality and argues why "It is time for Traditionalists to leave" and join a new denomination. 

Global Methodist Church - Thursday Night Live - YouTube Interviews with Global Methodist Church leaders Rev. Keith Boyette (Global Methodist Church, Transitional Leadership Council),  Bishop Mike Lowry (Retired, Central Texas Conference), Rev. Rob Renfroe (Retired, Good News Magazine), Rev. Jessica LaGrone (Dean of Chapel, Asbury Seminary, Global Methodist Transitional Leadership Council), and hosted by Rev. Dr. Sterling Allen (Associate Pastor, Good Shepherd UMC, Cypress). 

Collections of Other Articles For Those Who Want Further Study: 

People Need Jesus - Compendium of Articles related to current denominational difficulties 

"The Fifty Year Fight over Scripture and Sexuality" - Rev. Chris Ritter provides a history from 1972-2022. 

"A Pastoral Conversation Regarding Homosexuality and Same-Sex Marriage in the Church" and "The Other End of that Pastoral Conversation Regarding Homosexuality and Same-Sex Marriage in the Church"  Rev. Dr. Tom Pace and Rev. Dr. Chappell Temple. Two TAC pastors write in conversation over their differing understanding of homosexuality. 

Q. If 2/3 of the First Methodist Conroe professing membership votes to disaffiliate from the UMC, do our pastors disaffiliate also?

A: Our pastors, as ordained clergy are members of the Texas Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church and not members of First Methodist Conroe. Therefore, our clergy do not have a vote at the Church Conference on October 9. Each pastor will be going through their own discernment process in the coming months regarding the future of their ministry. For more information related to the considerations that clergy must consider, see here. 

Q. If First Methodist Conroe votes to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church, what impact will this have on the new church plant in The Woodland Hills?

A: We believe that God has given us an incredible opportunity to extend the mission and vision of FMC and make new disciples of Jesus Christ through a new worshipping community in The Woodlands Hills/North Conroe/Willis. For more information please contact Pastor John Wayne McMann at

We are in a covenant agreement with the Texas Annual Conference for funding over the next three years and property located on FM 830 to be deeded to FMC once construction begins on a new campus in 2024 or 2025. 

Conversations with the Bishop and Cabinet of the Texas Annual Conference are currently taking place as to the implications of a vote to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church.

Information will be shared as it becomes available.

Q. What is the cost of disaffiliation? What happens to our property if we disaffiliate?

A. At the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference Paragraph 2553 was added providing a way for congregations to disaffiliate from The United Methodist Church. As you can see here, the Paragraph sets certain criteria that must be met in order for a congregation to leave the denomination including a 2/3 vote of the professing membership present at a called Church Conference.

Once a congregation has completed all required steps, and the Annual Conference votes to approve, the church has disaffiliated. As all church property is held in trust by the Annual Conference, once a church has completed the disaffiliation process, the property is then given deeded the local church. At a minimum, churches must pay the current and previous years apportionments in full and pay their share of retired clergy’s unfunded pension liability. 

While other Annual Conferences have added additional stipulations including repayment of all conference grants and asset assessments of up to 50% (see Baltimore-Washington Conference) in order to be released from the trust clause, the Texas Annual Conference, under the guidance of the Bishop, the approval of the Conference Trustees and Annual Conference, has adopted the minimum standards required by paragraph 2553.

As of August 1, 2022 our unfunded pension liability is $0 and all 2021 and 2022 apportionments will have been paid in full as scheduled by December 31, 2022. 

Q. What are some examples of disobedience to the Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church? 

A. There are nearly 13 million United Methodists worldwide spread across 32,000 churches and served by over 83,000 clergypersons. Additionally, there are 13 official United Methodist seminaries. At their ordination, each clergyperson vows to operate according to the Book of Discipline and upon consecration, bishops vow to uphold it.  

Though the vast majority of United Methodist clergy remain faithful to the vows taken at ordination, the following are some prominent examples of United Methodists acting outside the bounds of the Book of Discipline that have often cited.  The UMC.org website addresses these here: 

UMC - Is The UMC Really...? Part One

UMC - Is The UMC Really...? Part Two

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Judicial Council rejects reconsideration of gay bishop ruling

Ms. Penny Cost discusses being the first drag queen certified candidate for ordination in the United Methodist Church

Oak Lawn United Methodist Church to self-appoint LGBTQ pastors after bishop denies request

United Methodist Pastor - "Jesus isn’t God. Jesus didn’t die for our sins. Jesus wasn’t killed instead of us. God isn’t wrathful or vindictive. There isn’t a hell"

Duke Divinity School holds worship service to ‘the great queer one’

North Central Jurisdiction commits to full inclusion of LGBTQIA+

United Methodism’s Iliff Seminary Embraces Paganism