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See below for questions and answers you may have about theology, human sexuality, the interpretation of scripture and the future of our church.

1. What is the current state of the United Methodist Church?

The United Methodist Church was formed in 1968. When the UMC was formed, there were 11 million members in the United States. Today, there are only 6,268,310 in the United States and 13 million worldwide. While U.S. membership has steadily declined over the past half century, membership in Africa and Asia is growing.

2. What happens if we vote to disaffiliate?

There are several options for disaffiliation from the UMC, two of which are addressed in the UMC Book of Discipline. If we disaffiliate, we can choose to join other traditional denominations such as the Global Methodist Church, the Free Methodist Church, or choose to be an independent church.

3. Is a denominational change something new to Buncombe Street United Methodist Church (BSUMC)?

Our church has been in existence since 1834, however, we have only been a part of the United Methodist Church since 1968. Over the years there have been several denominational changes and the church not only survived, but thrived. Change can be a chance for unification and revival within our congregation. Of greater concern to us are the theological changes that are occurring in the United Methodist Church.

Timeline of our church

1834 – Buncombe Street United Methodist Church was founded as the Greenville Methodist Episcopal Church
1873 – A new church building dedicated in the location where we worship today
1873 – The name of the church changed to Buncombe Street Methodist Episcopal Church, South
1939 – The name of the church changed to Buncombe Street Methodist
1968 – The name of the church changed to Buncombe Street United Methodist Church
2017 – The former Trinity United Methodist Church was adopted and became a campus of Buncombe Street United Methodist Church

4. Why can’t we all just stay together in the United Methodist Church and respect each other’s theological differences?

Disagreements on the authority of the Bible, interpretation of the Bible, and the interpretation of scripture illustrate how deep the divide in the UMC has become. Both sides (traditionalists and non-traditionalist) believe their understanding of the Bible is correct.

As our fellow Methodists from Trinity on the Hill in Georgia said, “separating into two expressions of faith is both a beginning and an end for both traditionalists and non-traditionalist – an end to conflict and uncertainty, and the beginning of vibrant denominations that can focus time and resources on missions and ministries instead of focusing on the conflicts that divide us.”

5. If non-traditionalists don’t agree with the United Methodist Church Book of Discipline, why do they get to keep the name “United Methodist Church”?

It is counterintuitive that the traditionalists are “leaving” the United Methodist Church when they believe in the current Book of Discipline. Traditionalists feel they aren’t leaving, but rather the church is leaving them. Methodism is our expression of Christian faith, but we are no longer “united.” The goal was never about winning or taking over the UMC.

The traditionalists’ goal has always been to create a vibrant evangelical Wesleyan church that is fully focused on mission and ministry, and not a church mired in a bureaucracy, dysfunction, and divisiveness. Trusting God’s grace and committing to doing his will leads to a faithful and fruitful future.

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