Two United Methodist Churches in Red River Parish met on Sunday at First Methodist Church in Coushatta and voted to disaffiliate with the United Methodist Church. First Church in Coushatta and Wesley Chapel held separate church conferences chaired by the Rev. Karli Pidgeon of the Alexandria District. The votes were taken at those conferences.
Current members of each church were given ballots to express their choice. The three options were to stay, to disaffiliate, or to abstain. All but one First Church ballot was to disaffiliate. The vote at Wesley Chapel was unanimous to leave the denomination.
It is not effective until December 31st and there are a couple of other things to be completed before the UMC releases the two churches. Once all paperwork is completed and all financial obligations are met, there will be a special Louisiana General Conference during November and all UMC Churches in the state wishing to leave the denomination, including the two in Red River Parish, will come up for a vote. Then the official release of local church property will be made by the conference.
Both churches will become independent churches as of January 1, 2023.
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