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In a somber and respectful process, members of the 2023 South Carolina Annual Conference on June 6 overwhelmingly approved the closure of 113 local churches whose members have voted to separate from The United Methodist Church.

“We pray for these churches that have chosen a different journey,” Bishop L. Jonathan Holston said after the vote. “May we also acknowledge that that which binds us will never leave us. In the midst of our separation, may we show each other the grace and love that you demonstrated through your sacrifice on the cross and your resurrection from the grave.

“For those who are leaving us, we bless you and send you on your way. For those who are remaining, we pray that God gives us a new will to do what God has called us to do. May it become clear, may it become important, may it move from our heads to our hearts.”

These churches, having completed the Local Church Discernment Process, determined that they can no longer function as a United Methodist church because they firmly believe that the denomination has not consistently upheld its stated doctrine on issues of human sexuality. The UMC Book of Discipline prohibits performing same-gender weddings and the ordination of “self-avowed practicing homosexuals.”

Some 1,500 lay and clergy members of the Annual Conference voted overwhelmingly to approve a resolution proposed by the Conference Trustees, who have overseen the Local Church Discernment Process and are responsible for the process of closing a church. The 113 churches will be closed as United Methodist churches, but intend to continue ministry outside the denomination.

Each church met the following requirements to be closed under Paragraph 2549 of the Book of Discipline:

  • The church council of a local church determined that it is in the best interest of the church to allow the congregation to pursue separation.
  • The local church completed an intentional, 30-day process of discernment to consider whether the congregation can continue to function as a United Methodist church.
  • Certain financial obligations, including:
    • A tithe equal to 10 percent of the appraised value of all church property and liquid assets.
    • All unpaid apportionment giving for the prior year, as well as for the year of closure up to the date of the Annual Conference vote to close the church.
    • An additional 12 months of apportionment giving.
    • All unpaid salary and benefits due to clergy appointed to the church.
    • A withdrawal liability equal to the church’s proportional share of any unfunded pension obligations.
  • Other financial considerations and legal liabilities of the local church – such as the disposition of any debts, loans, leases, endowments, foundations and cemeteries – must be satisfied or transferred to a new entity.
  • At a church conference meeting, two-thirds of professing church members present and voting support declaring formally that the church can no longer continue to function as a United Methodist church.

Separating churches, which will be closed effective June 30, 2023, are:

Anderson District

  • St. Andrew UMC (Easley)
  • Chiquola UMC (Honea Path)
  • Bells UMC (Abbeville)
  • Salem UMC (Salem)

Charleston District

  • Aldersgate UMC (North Charleston)
  • Charleston Korean UMC (North Charleston)
  • Friendship UMC (Cross)
  • Pinopolis UMC (Pinopolis)
  • Point Hope UMC (Mt. Pleasant)

Columbia District

  • Columbia Korean UMC (Columbia)
  • Rehoboth UMC (Batesburg-Leesville)
  • Chapin UMC (Chapin)
  • Lebanon UMC (Eastover)
  • Mt. Horeb UMC (Lexington)
  • Pond Branch UMC (Gilbert)

Florence District

  • Cades UMC (Cades)
  • Cameron UMC (Lake City)
  • First UMC (Hemingway)
  • St. Paul UMC (Coward)
  • Ebenezer UMC (Hemingway)
  • Old Johnsonville UMC (Johnsonville)
  • Mt. Vernon UMC (Greeleyville)
  • Prospect UMC (Pamplico)
  • Lane UMC (Lane)
  • Liberty Chapel UMC (Florence)
  • New Zion UMC (New Zion)
  • Pine Grove UMC (Timmonsville)
  • Pisgah UMC (Florence)
  • Cedar Swamp UMC (Kingstree)
  • Millwood UMC (Kingstree)
  • Tabernacle UMC (Pamplico)
  • Shiloh UMC-Turbeville (Lynchburg)
  • Trinity UMC-New Zion (Alcolu)
  • Trio UMC (Salters)
  • Pine Grove UMC (Turbeville)
  • Salem UMC (Timmonsville)
  • Earle UMC (Andrews)
  • Suttons UMC (Andrews)
  • Good Hope UMC (Hemingway)
  • St Luke UMC-Kingstree (Salters)

Greenville District

  • Dials UMC (Gray Court)
  • Shiloh UMC (Gray Court)
  • Buncombe Street UMC (Greenville)
  • Covenant UMC (Greer)
  • Sharon UMC (Greer)
  • Zoar UMC (Greer)
  • Mauldin UMC (Mauldin)
  • Mountain View UMC (Taylors)

Greenwood District

  • Hodges UMC (Hodges)
  • Shiloh UMC (Saluda)
  • Butler UMC (Saluda)
  • McCormick UMC (McCormick)

Hartsville District

  • Concord UMC (Bishopville)
  • Dalzell UMC (Dalzell)
  • Lewis Chapel UMC (Sumter)
  • Bethel-Oswego UMC (Sumter)
  • McLeod Chapel UMC (Rembert)
  • St. John UMC (Rembert)
  • St. John UMC (Sumter)
  • St. Mark’s UMC-Broad Street (Sumter)
  • St. Matthew UMC (Bishopville)
  • Beulah UMC (Camden)

Marion District

  • Trinity UMC (Andrews)
  • Wayne UMC (Georgetown)
  • Bethel UMC-Georgetown (Andrews)
  • Aynor UMC (Aynor)
  • Rehoboth UMC-Aynor (Galivants Ferry)
  • First UMC (Bennettsville)
  • Zoan UMC (Loris)
  • Antioch UMC (Bennettsville)
  • Christ UMC (Bennettsville)
  • Pisgah UMC (Aynor)
  • Boykin UMC (Bennettsville)
  • Trinity UMC (Clio)
  • Pine Grove UMC (McColl)
  • Smyrna UMC (Bennettsville)
  • Berea UMC (McColl)
  • Main Street (Dillon)
  • First UMC (Loris)
  • Main Street UMC (McColl)
  • Brown Swamp UMC (Conway)
  • Oak Grove UMC (Wallace)
  • Pleasant Hill UMC (Marion/Wallace)
  • Center UMC (Mullins)
  • Tranquil UMC (Mullins)

Orangeburg District

  • Limestone UMC (Orangeburg)
  • Ebenezer UMC-Orange Circuit (North)
  • Cattle Creek UMC (Rowesville)

Rock Hill District

  • Grace Community UMC (Fort Mill)
  • Capers Chapel UMC (Chester)
  • Catawba UMC (Catawba)
  • New Hope UMC (Chester)
  • Armenia UMC (Chester)
  • Mt. Vernon UMC (Hickory Grove)
  • Bethel UMC (Lancaster)

Spartanburg District

  • Wesley Chapel UMC (Union)
  • Liberty UMC-Campobello (Landrum)
  • Buffalo UMC (Buffalo)
  • Campobello UMC (Campobello)
  • Carlisle UMC (Carlisle)
  • Bethlehem UMC-Jonesville (Union)
  • Sardis UMC (Union)
  • Fosters Chapel UMC (Jonesville)
  • Lyman UMC (Lyman)
  • Roebuck UMC (Roebuck)
  • Reidville Road UMC (Moore)
  • Walnut Grove UMC (Roebuck)

Walterboro District

  • Tillman UMC (Tillman)
  • Cottageville UMC (Cottageville)
  • Cypress UMC (Ridgeville)
  • Mt. Tabor UMC (Ridgeville)
  • Trinity UMC (Ridgeville)
  • St. Paul UMC (Ridgeland)


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