Frequently Asked Questions

Why have we decided to pursue disaffiliation from the United Methodist Church ?

Although there are many reasons, the most straightforward response is that the vision for our church does not align with the future vision of the United Methodist Church (UMC). Please read this covenant passed by 80% of delegates in our Jurisdiction in November 2021 to get a picture of their vision of the future UMC.

Other reasons include:
  • Theological drift – The UMC has become increasingly accepting of clergy, including bishops, who denigrate the authority of Scripture, leading to a wide variety of beliefs about core doctrine such as the divinity and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the necessity of Christ’s atoning death on the cross for our sins, the mission of the church, and other essentials of historic Christian faith. Understandably, these theological disagreements have led to tremendous decline and dysfunction in our denomination.
  • Ongoing conflict over human sexuality in the UMC has cost millions of dollars and distracted the church from its mission of making disciples.
  • Future direction – As many traditionally leaning United Methodist Churches and clergy are choosing to disaffiliate from the denomination, the well of orthodox pastors will eventually run dry leaving our church vulnerable to theological leadership in conflict with our stated beliefs. Furthermore, when our current bishop retires or is reappointed, we will receive a theologically progressive bishop.  

*Isn't this just about gay marriage?

Divisions within the UMC are about much more than human sexuality. We encourage you to read this thorough letter of Pastor Andy’s experience and analysis.

Why have we decided to pursue disaffiliation now?

Our transition team has spent a significant amount of time considering this since December 2021. Our primary reasons for choosing to leave now are as follows: 
  • We thought General Conference 2019 in St. Louis would settle the conflicts in our denomination. Instead, they’ve only intensified. We hoped that General Conference 2020 would provide a pathway to amicable separation, but the conference has been delayed multiple times and now won’t meet until 2024 at the earliest. Furthermore, the compromise plan for separation (the Protocol) is now considered “dead” as non-traditionalists have removed their support.
  • Currently there is a process for disaffiliation in our Book of Discipline (governing policies for the United Methodist Church). This pathway out known as “Paragraph 2553” is only available through the end of 2023. Waiting until General Conference 2024 may mean that window of opportunity completely closes. 
  • Although the current pathway to disaffiliation appears to be costly, it seems likeliest that it will only get more costly, and we feel our congregation is ready to find resolution sooner rather than later.
  • By acting now, we feel we are being most responsible with the church’s finances to fulfill our mission for generations to come.

*How many UMC's have disaffiliated?

Although this number has been increasing regularly, by the end of 2022, over 2,000 UMCs have disaffiliated under the exit clause in our discipline known as “Paragraph 2553”. That number is expected to land somewhere around 4,000-5,000 before that particular paragraph expires at the end of 2023.

*What about sharing "the other side"?

Our Transition Team has explored all “sides” in the months of investigation, prayer, and discernment leading up to the decision to recommend disaffiliation from the UMC. This investigation included meeting with our District Superintendent and considering rationale for remaining in the United Methodist Church. There are a few reasons some congregations have decided to remain in the UMC. Below are those reasons with our Transition Team’s response:
  •  A majority wants to see the definition of marriage change to affirm same-sex marriage and open the door for ordination of those in same-sex sexual relationships. We believe a substantial majority of our congregation does not want to see the definition of marriage change nor the ordination standards. Although some in our congregation may feel they must leave if we don’t change, we believe many more will feel they must leave if these definitions and standards do change to affirm same-sex sexual practice. It is our conviction that all people are created with sacred worth but born into a fallen and sinful nature. We believe the Bible describes all same-sex sexual practice as contrary to God’s will for his people. 
  • They are comfortable supporting a “big tent” denomination where differing theological perspectives (on human sexuality and other things) can exist under the same leadership and structure. Although we support some diversity of theological beliefs, we have experienced that the conflict around same-sex sexual practice in our denomination has caused more harm to people, compromised a focus on mission and discipleship, and has cost us millions of dollars and time that can never be gotten back. Furthermore, we feel the governance of the UMC is broken and unable to hold pastors and churches accountable to our shared covenant (The Book of Discipline), nor the core doctrines of our denomination. In other words, the “big tent” has gotten too big and includes theology that compromises the core of the faith. In addition, recent events within the UMC have led us to believe that those who do not want to change the definition of marriage or ordination standards will be treated less and less fairly. For example, at our recent Jurisdictional Conferences, all 13 bishops elected are in favor of redefining marriage. We encourage you to read Pastor Andy’s experience as a delegate to the North Central Jurisdictional Conference here.
  • They feel the costs prohibit leaving now and prefer to wait and hope that General Conference 2024 provides a less expensive exit pathway. Although there is a cost, we believe we will recoup those costs within a handful of years. We also expect that it will be more difficult and costly to leave if we wait beyond 2023.
  • They have loved being United Methodist and don’t want to leave Methodism. We have loved so much about being United Methodist, and that’s what makes it so difficult to recommend disaffiliation even for the important reasons outlined in these FAQs. It helps us to realize that our Troy congregation has not always been United Methodist (we have been part of the predecessor Methodist and Methodist Episcopal denominations before the United Methodist Church formed in 1968). Our leadership intends for our congregation to remain connected to our Methodist heritage in the Global Methodist Church, which we believe preserves the most important elements of Methodism. Furthermore, we plan to remain in partnership with the United Methodist missions and ministries that align with our missional priorities.
  • They haven’t spent time investigating nor prayerfully discerning their future, so by making no decision, they remain in the UMC. We are grateful that our senior pastor and leaders within our church have encouraged a thorough investigation and prayerful discernment so we can make an informed and Spirit-led decision about our future.

*If we leave will it hurt the UMC missions we love?

It has been raised that one negative consequence of disaffiliation will be less funding for mission partnerships we love within the UMC. We plan to continue being generous in our mission support (10% of our general budget) and remain in partnership with those missions we love that are part of the UMC including the Midwest Mission Distribution Center, UMCOR, Lessie-Bates Davis Neighborhood House, and more.

What is the Transition Team?

The Transition Team was formed by the Church Council in 2021 and was charged with the task of discussing various options for our church related to the impending UMC split and recommending to the Church Council strategic courses of action, including both gathering and sharing important information from and with the congregation.

After sharing recommendations with the Church Council on June 14, 2022, the Council redeployed the Transition Team to create a plan for communication about the Council’s reasons for seeking disaffiliation from the UMC and affiliation with the GMC.

Transition Team members include:
  • Mickey Jackson
  • Deb Ellis
  • Deb Inman
  • Jason Wickersham
  • Sheila Hall
  • Tim Price
  • Andy Adams

What is the Disaffiliation Team?

The Disaffiliation Team was formed by the Church Council on June 16, 2022, to represent our congregation in negotiations with the Illinois Great Rivers Conference to seek an amicable agreement for our departure from the UMC.

Disaffiliation Team members include:
  • Tracy Kennett – Church Council chairperson
  • Eric Brault – Trustee chairperson
  • Jordan Buck – Finance chairperson
  • Mickey Jackson – Lay Leader
  • Isabel Ososki – Church Council member
  • Don Satterlee – Lay Representative to Annual Conference
  • Deb Inman – Transition Team member

*What has happened since we began this process in June?

  • June 15 – Troy UMC indicated its intent to inquire about disaffiliation with our conference. We were told we would be followed up with in late August to set up a meeting for September.
  • June 15 - Our District Superintendent (DS), Rev. Allynn Walker, emailed Pastor Andy a packet of information our team would need to collect and submit during our meeting with the conference. This packet included a detailed reporting of all our account balances, properties, and assets along with appraisals and a copy of all our deeds.
  • June 22 – Pastor Andy met in Springfield with Bishop Beard and another District Superintendent. At that meeting Bishop Beard shared that we could exit under Paragraph 2553 and that as long as we didn’t hire a lawyer, we could finish negotiations and vote before the end of the year.
  • July 6 – Our disaffiliation team held a meeting to understand the scope of their work and begin working on the information packet.
  • August 10 – Our disaffiliation team held a meeting to gather information and begin preparing for eventual conference negotiations.
  • September 12 – Our DS contacted Pastor Andy by phone to inform him that the conference would meet with Troy UMC’s disaffiliation team in the first or second week of October.
  • September 29 – Our disaffiliation team held a meeting to finalize the information packet and create talking points for eventual conference negotiations.
  • October 5 – Our team submitted our detailed packet of information (See June 15 above) needed for our meeting with the conference. As it turned out, the hours of work put into reporting this detailed information would not be needed after the conference revised the disaffiliation process.
  • October 7 – Our DS texted Pastor Andy: “Because of the number of disaffiliation requests, we have to reconfigure the process. That’s scheduled for next week.”
  • October 14 – The conference announced that there would be two separate special annual conference sessions in 2023 to approve disaffiliating churches.
  • October 17 – The bishop’s assistant emailed Pastor Andy that the conference had revised their process, that it needed to be approved by the conference trustees, and that we would hear more within 10 days.
  • October 28 – The bishop’s assistant emailed Pastor Andy the revised disaffiliation process (which eliminated the opportunity to negotiate) and that Troy UMC would be contacted within 10 days to set up a date for a virtual meeting to have the terms of disaffiliation presented to our team.
  • November 10 – At our charge conference, our DS informed us that we should be hearing from the bishop’s assistant the following week to set up our meeting.
  • November 17 – The bishop’s assistant emailed Pastor Andy a list of information needed from Troy UMC that must be turned in by November 30 in order to schedule a meeting in December with the conference to agree on financial terms. Failure to do so would result in those terms increasing by one year of apportionments (roughly $105k).
  • November 18 – Troy UMC submitted the requested information.
  • December 7 – Our DS scheduled our appointment with the conference for 5pm on December 11 (179 days after Troy UMC submitted the original letter of inquiry).
  • December 8 – Our disaffiliation team held a meeting to prepare for our scheduled meeting with the conference.
  • December 11 – Our disaffiliation team met virtually with the conference disaffiliation team. In this meeting the conference presented the next steps toward disaffiliation and the financial terms of Troy UMC’s disaffiliation.
  • December 15 – Our church council met and approved the “Disaffiliation Agreement” as presented by the conference.
  • December 16 – We submitted the signed “Disaffiliation Agreement” to our DS and Bishop. We also scheduled our church conference for January 22, 2023.

*How much will disaffiliation cost?

Our conference made the process such that we could not have a clear answer to that question until after we officially began the process with an inquiry phase. It is this phase that our Church Council unanimously approved on June 14, 2022. The next step was for representatives from our church (our Disaffiliation Team) to meet with representatives from our conference to begin negotiations and arrive at a mutual agreement.
After months of waiting, we were invited to meet with the conference to be presented our disaffiliation terms on Sunday, December 11, 2022. At that meeting, our team agreed to a total exit cost of $643,437 ($524,409 remaining to be paid by March 6, 2023).
  • The costs are broken down into the following categories:
    • Two years of Apportionments – $224,712
      • We have already paid $119,028 of this for 2022.
      • We have already budgeted the remaining $105,684 for 2023. (If we remain in the UMC, we will have to pay this anyway.)
    • Unfunded Pension Liability - $371,051 – our conference pensions plan is partially unfunded. Disaffiliating churches must pay their fair share of that unfunded liability to ensure retired clergy are cared for. We technically owe this already but pay into it slowly over time. If we leave, we must pay all our share up front.
    • Property and Assets – $47,674 – United Methodist Churches only hold their property and assets in trust for the denomination. The trust clause stipulates that if we leave the UMC, the property and assets belong to the denomination. In our conference’s revised disaffiliation process, they have chosen not to negotiate with individual churches, but to instead allow disaffiliating churches to be released from the trust clause WITH all our property and assets for 10% of the balance of our exit fees yet to be paid. Once these terms are met our church will officially own our facilities (valued at approximately $3.5 million) which this congregation has sacrificed greatly to provide as a tool for our ministry.

*How do we plan to pay the exit fees?

  • Of the remaining $524,409 exit fee left to be paid:
    • $105,684 is part of our 2023 budget so we will pay this from our general fund.
    • That leaves us with a remainder of $418,725 to be paid:
      • The congregation will be invited to make a special donation in February to help pay our remaining disaffiliation fee.
      • Our disaffiliation team is working to secure a low interest loan to cover any shortfall.
    • We must have this money escrowed by March 6, 2023 in order to be approved for disaffiliation on May 6, 2023.
  • Because the Global Methodist Church’s connectional giving will be significantly less than the UMC’s apportionments we are used to paying (approximately $50-75k/year less), we anticipate being able to pay back any loans we take for disaffiliation in as little as five years.

*What is the timeline?

  • When we began, we did not know how long the disaffiliation process would take. Our church’s Disaffiliation Team hoped to begin formal conversations with the conference in September but that didn’t happen until December 11, 2022.
  • Our membership will vote on disaffiliation from the UMC (and if that passes, affiliation with the GMC) on Sunday, January 22, 2023 at 3pm.
  • If we vote to disaffiliate, we have until March 6, 2023 to pay our remaining exit fee and until April 6, 2023 to form a new, incorporated non-profit organization in good standing (to receive and own our property).
  • The disaffiliation will not technically be complete until our Annual Conference votes on May 6, 2023. At that time, we will officially own our property and become part of the Global Methodist Church (if that vote also passes).

*Will we need to get a lawyer?

  • Our conference assured us they would make this a fair process, so we did not hire a lawyer to represent us in the negotiation process.
  • Through the generous donation of one of our members, we became members of the National Center for Life and Liberty (, a non-profit organization that has provided legal consultation to many congregations disaffiliating from the UMC. They will help us with all our paperwork to become a new legal entity to own our own property.

Why did we choose to pursue affiliation with the Global Methodist Church?

Although there are many reasons, the short answer is that the Global Methodist Church (GMC) represents the most hopeful vision that aligns with our preferred future. This short video captures many of those reasons.

Our leadership was particularly encouraged that this new denomination (launched on May 1, 2022) takes the best parts of our Methodist heritage, while correcting some of the governance and structural issues that have perpetuated dysfunction in the UMC.

Although there are many highlights about the GMC, here are some notable ones:
  • Return to the accountable discipleship which the early Methodist movement embodied and that we are implementing already in our church.
  • Smaller, more fluid structure with an emphasis on the ministry of the local church rather than boards and agencies.
  • No trust clause – We would own our property and assets and, if desired, could leave the GMC at any time with no penalty.
  • Lower apportionments – With a leaner structure, more money can stay with the local church and go directly to mission.
  • We will have a seat at the table in the formative years of a new worldwide Methodist movement that we hope bears great fruit for generations to come.

We encourage everyone to read more about the GMC at

What practical changes would joining the GMC require of our church?

The short answer is that nothing about our local mission and ministry must change because of joining the GMC.
  • We would have to drop the “United Methodist” name and logo. 
  • Local church structure in the GMC is essentially the same and uses the same language we are already familiar with in the UMC. However, there would be more flexibility in the GMC to restructure around our mission if our congregation sees fit to do so.
  • The GMC has “connectional giving” (called “apportionments” in the UMC) to support our shared ministry beyond the local church. We anticipate that connectional giving to be about half of our current denominational obligations.

Why didn’t we choose to become independent?

Although several churches disaffiliating from the UMC are choosing independence, our Transition Team and Church Council have always placed a high value on being connected with a denomination for missional reasons and accountability. Becoming independent was never a serious consideration of ours.

Why the GMC instead of an established denomination like the Free Methodist or Wesleyan church?

Our Transition Team met with representatives from both the Free Methodist Church and the Wesleyan Church. The meetings were a blessing to us, and we not only appreciated their time and investment, but also felt a kinship with each of them around the mission of the church. However, in the end, our team felt that the vision of the GMC fit best with our preferred vision of the future. Check out this Comparison Chart between the different denominations..

*When will we vote on affiliation with the Global Methodist Church?

  • A church conference has been called for Sunday, January 22, 2023 at 3pm in the Family Life Center. At that time all members present will vote on whether to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church. To pass, at least 2/3rds of our members present must vote to disaffiliate.
  • If that vote passes, we will take a short break before inviting all members present to vote on whether to affiliate with the Global Methodists Church. To pass, a simple majority (50% + 1) of our members present must vote to affiliate.
  • Childcare will be available during the church conference. Please RSVP to Christine (a reservation is not mandatory but is helpful)

Will there be childcare?

Yes, childcare will be available during the church conference. Please RSVP to Christine. (a reservation is not mandatory but is helpful.)

*Who can vote?

  • Only professing members who are present on January 22, 2023 can vote.
  • Attenders who are not members are welcome at the meeting but will not be eligible to vote.
  • We are sorry, but there is no absentee voting.
  • If you aren’t sure if you are one of our over 700 professing members, you can check at our Informational Meetings (see later FAQ) or by calling Sharie at our church office (618-667-6241).

*How will my membership be affected?

If our membership votes to disaffiliate from the UMC and affiliate with the GMC, that will be effective after May 6, 2023. Between January 22, 2023 and May 6, 2023 our leaders will attempt to contact every member of our church to inquire about your intentions. For those wishing to continue as part of our church, you will become members of the GMC. While we certainly hope it is not the case, if you decide to no longer retain your membership with us, the conference requires that we pass on your information to them so they can help you through the transfer process to an area United Methodist congregation.

What if I don’t agree with our stance on human sexuality? Is there still a place for me in this church or the GMC?

Yes! The GMC’s position on human sexuality will remain the same as the UMC’s position since its inception in 1968. As it always has, our congregation will continue to welcome LGBTQIA+ people into the fellowship of the church. Everyone is welcome to worship and participate in our ministries, regardless of belief or practice.

What happens to our pastor and staff if we join the GMC?

If our congregation votes to disaffiliate from the UMC, our appointed pastor and church staff would each have to decide their own next steps. No one would be asked to leave. The stated policy of the GMC is to keep the appointed pastor and church together in such a transfer, unless either prefer otherwise.

*When will the congregation receive more information?

  • Informational Meetings: All members and attenders are invited to learn more at one of our two Informational Meetings. These meetings will include a presentation from our transition team on disaffiliation from the UMC and affiliation with the GMC, as well as time for questions and answers. These meetings are purely informational and are not designed to be opportunities to make personal statements about the matters at hand.
    • Sunday, January 8 at 3:30pm (recorded for members who are unable to attend either meeting – email to receive a link to that recording)
    • Sunday, January 15 at 3:30pm
  • Discussion Forums: Any member or regular attender of Troy UMC who desires to share their feelings or opinions in a personal statement is invited to sign up for one of (at least) four discussion forums in the Sanctuary. These forums are each limited to 25 people to allow for anyone, and everyone present to share their heart. Members of our leadership and our senior pastor will be present to listen and have open discussion. You can register for a spot online (below) or call the church office (618-667-6241). These are first come, first serve. Please only sign up for one forum. If demand is high, we will offer more!