Conference votes against ratifying disaffiliation for Jonesboro First United Methodist Church

UMC disaffiliation voted down
Published: Nov. 19, 2022 at 5:33 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 19, 2022 at 8:25 PM CST
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) - The vote is in for the First United Methodist Church Jonesboro’s disaffiliation agreement.

In July after church leadership denied a request from some members wanting more time, the church voted to disaffiliate but needed ratification by a simple majority of the annual conference.

The Arkansas Annual Conference of United Methodist voted Saturday against the church’s disaffiliation from the United Methodist Church during a special session.

There were 589 total votes. 254 people voted in favor of ratifying the disaffiliation, but 335 people voted against it.

According to leaders during the session, since the ratification was voted down during the special session the matter of disaffiliation returns to the local church. The local church can then decide what to do and send a letter to the board of trustees. The board of trustees will then “act in authority”.

Stay UMC Jonesboro made a statement on social media saying they are thankful for the vote that recognized concerns raised about the disaffiliation process at FUMC Jonesboro.

“We are truly grateful to those who heard and understood our plight and found the strength to stand up for and defend the UMC and advocate justice over inequity, unity over division, giving voice to the voiceless, and acknowledging the generations of faithful United Methodists who built, served, and worshiped in the space we hold so dear,” said Stay UMC.

FUMC Pastor, Brother John posted a video to the church’s Facebook in response to the vote against disaffiliation.

“We were denied disaffiliation by the United Methodist Conference. Now that’s very discouraging, but it’s not the end of the line,” said Brother John. “There is much more we can do and we will regroup and think about it.”

A message from Brother John.

Posted by First United Methodist Church on Saturday, November 19, 2022