Wednesday, May 30, 2018

First Methodist Files Restraining Order Against United Methodist Conference


 A request for a restraining order and injunction by the First Methodist Church of Louisville against the Mississippi Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church (UMC) was filed yesterday, Tuesday, May 29 in the Chancery Court of Winston County.

As previously reported, members of the local church voted in March to separate from the Conference. (see original story at http://www.winwebnews.com/2018/05/members-of-louisvilles-first-methodist.html). 

In a May 23 meeting, the UMC informed Louisville members of its intent to retain control of the church property through the use of a “Trust Clause” in the United Methodist Church’s Book of Discipline which constitutes the doctrine of the UMC. This in effect, left members without facilities and funds to hold and conduct church services and business.

In Tuesday’s legal filing, The First Methodist Church of Louisville seeks a temporary restraining order noting that “The Conference’s threatened actions will strip all assets from First Methodist, will prevent the membership of First Methodist from effectively meeting and will prevent First Methodist from performing the religious and/or charitable services for which it was founded……”

First Methodist of Louisville seeks to prevent the implementation of the Trust Clause, the loss of possession of the church property and its bank accounts and funds until the matter can be addressed through legal means.

An emergency session of Chancery Court is expected to be held sometime today to address the issue. WWN will provide updates as information becomes available.