Oklahoma Megachurch Splits from UMC over Differences in Beliefs

Rev. Harrison

Asbury United Methodist Church, a megachurch in Oklahoma, United States has decided to split from the United Methodist Church (UMC). According to the church, the UMC is “slowly and steadily drifting” from its historic Christian mission.

The church has decided to be officially called Asbury Church, therefore, dissociates from the United States’ second-largest Protestant denomination.

In a statement posted by Asbury Church on its website, it said that they “have begun the process of disaffiliating from the denomination.”

The statement continued, “We do not know where or when we will affiliate with a new denomination. Currently, our main focus is protecting the assets and interests of Asbury and fully disaffiliating from the UMC.”

Reverend Tom Harrison, senior pastor of Asbury Church, said the split had been inevitable for some time.

Harrison said, “There isn’t one issue driving this separation; rather, after years of operating under vastly different approaches to theology, ministry and Christology, it was determined by the leadership of the Church, in conjunction with the pastoral staff, that these approaches are irreconcilable and no longer sustainable.

“As Asbury Church, we will continue to pursue our mission of helping others follow Jesus.”

Some weeks earlier, UMC delayed its General Conference meeting for a third time. The reason was due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference has been rescheduled for 2024.

The General Conference is expected to be debatable as delegates discuss a denominational split over theological differences, which includes the complete inclusion of LGBT members into the denomination and the ordination of ministers in same-sex relationships. 

It will be recalled that on January 30, 2022, Frazer United Methodist Church, Montgomery, Alabama, split from the UMC.

The church said in a statement sent to The Christian Post, “We believe that the Free Methodist Church is a better fit for our present identity and future fruitfulness.”

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