Northside United Methodist votes to leave denomination

JACKSON, Tenn. — One of Jackson’s largest churches is breaking away from its heritage.

Sunday night, Northside United Methodist Church voted to leave the denomination.

Attorneys said the vote was an overwhelming 93.8 percent. They didn’t say how many people voted.

This comes as the United Methodist Church is heading toward a split regarding their stance on LGBTQ members and clergy, but attorneys said this decision was 42 years in the making.

The church and Pastor Don Thrasher released a statement, saying in part:

“Northside is a church that loves God and loves people. As the UMC has become so divided and is heading toward a split, we simply decided that God is calling us to remove ourselves from the ongoing conflict and focus on Christ’s mission for us to share God’s love with all people and lead people to be followers of Jesus Christ. We are a people with a deep love for scripture and the long held Biblical traditions of the church. We are excited to move into this next chapter of our Church’s life.”

The church has hired attorneys to help with the transition into their new and independent Northside Church.

This was done to help discern what belongs to the church and what belongs to the denomination, and by the looks of their website and Facebook page, that transition has already started.

The church has between 1,700 to 1,800 members, and about a thousand people regularly attend the church on Sundays.

The church says they hope to retain their current building on North Highland Avenue and assume current and future debts of their now non-denominational church.

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