Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Restraining Order Extended Over Methodist Church Property

Attorneys for Louisville's First Methodist Church and the Mississippi Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church (UMC) met in Chancery Court in Winston County today (Wednesday, June 6). After discussion and at the encouragement of Judge Kilgore, the parties involved reached agreement to extend the general terms of the temporary restraining order issued on May 30th.

The issue arose after church members of the Louisville Church  voted to withdraw the congregation's membership from the United Methodist Church (UMC) denomination. The withdrawal resulted in a dispute over ownership and possession of church assets between the local members and the United Methodist Conference.

The previous restraining order was temporary and allowed both parties to use and occupy church properties and prevented either party from limiting access. Today's ruling extended that order until the case can be litigated.

Louisville's First Methodist Church issued the following statement after today's decision:

"The dispute between the Mississippi Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and church members who recently chose to withdraw from the denomination continued in the Winston County Chancery Court on Wednesday. With minor modifications, the parties to the dispute agreed upon extending the terms of the Court’s Temporary Restraining Order issued last week. The new Order will allow the continued use of the church facilities and other church property by both the members who have chosen to leave the denomination and the remaining members who wish to remain affiliated with the United Methodist Church until such time as the Court is able to consider and rule on all pending issues."