Saturday, May 13, 2023, Hot Springs, AR: A Special Session of the Arkansas Annual Conference was held at the Hot Springs Convention Center earlier today with Bishop Laura Merrill presiding.
This special session was called to address the following issue:
The consideration of ratification of disaffiliation agreements from the Conference Board of Trustees with various congregations of the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church, in accordance with ¶2553 of The 2016 Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, the Principles adopted at the 2021 Arkansas Annual Conference Session and Judicial Council Decision 1379.
The following Arkansas United Methodist churches were approved by a block vote to ratify their disaffiliation requests:
Adona, Almyra, Alpena, Altheimer, Bayou Meto, Bearden, Bismarck, Bradley, Brasfield, Briggsville, Buena Vista, Caraway, Cecil, Cedar Grove (Yellville), Chickalah, Christ United, Congo, Dardanelle First, Dumas Memorial, Everton, Gillett, Good Hope, Griffin Memorial, Harmony (Emmet), Harmony Grove, Hartman, Hebron (New Edinburgh), Hickory Ridge, Holiday Hills, Horatio First, Hunter, Junction City, Leachville, Liberty Hall, Little Missouri, Mabelvale, Manila, McNeil, Midland Heights, Morning Star, Mount Olivet, Mountain View (Mena), Naylor, New Salem, Norman, Piggott First, Plainview, Pleasant Hill (Texarkana), Pleasant Ridge, Plummerville, Red Hill, Rondo, Salem Palestine, Shiloh (Dry Fork), Shiloh (Jonesboro), Tilton, Trinity (Gurdon), Vesta, Wesley Cotter, and Wye Mountain.
The Arkansas United Methodist churches that were voted upon individually included the following:
Good Faith Carr, Greenbrier, Greenwood, Hope First, Pine Bluff First, and Wheatley.
Each of these churches was voted upon separately and each was ratified for affiliation by the members of the Annual Conference.
Bishop Laura Merrill shared, “Today was a difficult day for the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church, but I am grateful for the grace that Conference members extended to each other and to me as we accomplished our work.”
“I look forward to healing and continued ministry with United Methodists who lost their church home today, and I trust that God will open a new and fruitful path before us. We will move forward in faith, sharing the love and hope of Jesus Christ with our neighbors,” Bishop Merrill stated.