83 United Methodist congregations in Iowa to leave the denomination over LGBTQ rights

(ABC 6 News) – Dozens of United Methodist congregations in Iowa are leaving the denomination over disagreements on same-sex marriages and ordaining openly LGBTQ members of the clergy.

The denomination has upheld bans on same-sex marriages and LGBTQ members, but some churches and clergy have openly defied them.

During a vote this week, the Iowa Conference of United Methodists allowed 83 churches — or 11% of the state’s total — to either become independent agencies or join a new denomination, the Global Methodist Church, a new theologically conservative denomination that was established on May 1, 2022, which upholds LGBTQ-related bans. Nearly 4,000 churches nationally that disaffiliated have joined it.

“It is with sadness to see these churches leave,” said Bishop Kennetha Bigham-Tsai. “But it was our intent to allow churches, that had duly voted to leave, to do so in a spirit of grace.”

The 83 Iowa congregations will no longer be part of the United Methodist Church as of June 30. The only church in the ABC 6 News viewing area leaving is the Britt United Methodist Church.

To view a list of the churches that chose to disaffiliate, CLICK HERE.