Thirty-one United Methodist churches in western North Carolina are demanding they be allowed to leave the United Methodist Church and have hired a Florida legal firm to push their claim forward.
The National Center for Life and Liberty sent a letter to Bishop Ken Carter, who oversees both the denomination’s Western North Carolina and Florida annual conferences, to request that they preserve documents and other communications should a lawsuit be filed.
The same firm also sued the Florida Annual Conference on behalf of 100 churches wishing to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church last month.
Legal action — or the threat of legal action — represents a new strategy on behalf of churches that want to join the new Global Methodist Church, a new denomination launched largely over differing beliefs regarding the ordination and marriage of its LGBTQ members.
A lawyer for the Western North Carolina Annual Conference, which has more than 1,000 congregations, responded to the…