FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Arkansas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church voted on October 17 to let 62 more of its congregation leave the denomination.
Genesis Church of Fayetteville is already familiar with the disaffiliation process. The church separated from Central United Methodist Church earlier this year.
“There was obviously the disagreements of sexuality and marriage and all these things we have heard,” said Jody Farrell, pastor of Genesis Church of Fayetteville.
For Farrell, the conflict has become too political.
“I think this is becoming more of a distracting thing,” said Farrell.
The church was originally a satellite campus for Central United Methodist Church. Now the church is not affiliated with UMC.
“People who come to Genesis Church are not officially members of the United Methodist Church. We never emphasized that membership. We emphasized meeting Jesus and serving our community,” said Farrell.
Central transferred ownership of the property where the Genesis congregations was already meeting. According to Brenda Gullett, Vice Chair of Central Methodist Church Council, it was a amicable separation. However, Farrell says separation is never an easy process.
“There is some healing that needs to be done for people. Words were shared that were negative. But I think in the end this was the best way to approach the situation,” said Farrell.
Farrell recommends churches going through the separation process to continue meaningful partnerships for the greater good.