Waco church will not join United Methodist congregations in Texas in split over gay marriage, abortion

Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 5:45 PM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Disagreements over same sex marriage and abortion rights are causing disruption in the United Methodist Church, which resulted in hundreds of congregations in the state of Texas voting to join a more conservative denomination.

Dave Brower, the senior pastor of the Central United Methodist Church in Waco, said his church will remain with the United Methodist Church denomination.

“The Methodist are really rooted in how we live our faith, especially, live our faith with other people, and not only the affect that it has on us, but other people on the world around us,” said Brower.

He said his congregation is not joining the more than 400 UMC churches in Texas, including an estimated five in Waco, that voted to join The Global United Methodist Church, which holds more conservative stances on abortion, sexuality, and gender.

“The Methodist Church has struggled and wrestled with topics just like all of American society has for a long time. The debates in our general conference have gone back years and years,” said Brower.

Officials said disagreements on some topics like abortion rights and same sex marriage are the reasons why churches want to split.

The current United Methodist Church Doctrine supports marriage between a man and a woman. However, different viewpoints are making the church fracture.

“We have clergy and churches that are for sticking with the current language in the doctrine. Then you have churches, clergy and members who are interested in shifting that language to be more inclusive,” said Brower.

Brower said his church stands with welcoming all people.

“We focus on what it means to truly love and welcome people into the church and believe that it’s the radical love and the radical hospitality of Jesus that brings him into communion with him,” said Brower.

Although some of Brower’s brothers and sisters are choosing to leave the domination, it shouldn’t change their faith and love for the word of God.

“While it makes me sad, at the same time, I trust that they’re doing what they believe is in their best interest. The United Methodist Church is committed to making disciples for Jesus Christ and that’s what we’re about,” said Brower.

In total, 450 UMC churches in the state disaffiliated during recent conferences in Lubbock and Houston.

KWTX called several of the Waco churches that decided to join the global denomination, but did not get a response on Tuesday.