The Holston Chapter of the Wesleyan Covenant Association recommends that traditional Methodist churches wanting to leave the United Methodist Church seek legal assistance as they proceed with their efforts to depart.
Churches within the Holston Conference have formed a coalition to explore what legal options might be available, seeking advice from the National Council on Life and Liberty, a nonprofit legal ministry established “to protect and defend the Bible-based values upon which our nation was founded: church liberties, parental liberties, individual liberties, and issues of life.” More information about the NCLL can be found at ncll.org.
“In addition to being unfair, the disaffiliation terms being presented by our bishop and conference officials create what is certainly a legal, contractual process, and it makes no sense for churches to enter such a process without legal representation,” said the Rev. Chuck Griffin, president of the Holston WCA. “The NCLL provides specific expertise in this area, in a way that is affordable even for small churches.”
The NCLL will help churches seek exit options not currently promoted by the Holston Conference. NCLL lawyers also are willing to represent churches choosing to go through the conference-defined disaffiliation process.
Wednesday, NCLL attorneys filed a lawsuit on behalf of 105 Florida UMC churches, suing the UMC’s Florida Annual Conference for relief from onerous disaffiliation terms.
Churches concerned about protecting their legal rights as they depart the UMC can contact the Holston WCA at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling the NCLL directly at (888) 233-6255.
Link to Complaint Filed in Florida
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