MAKING IT OFFICIAL: Wesley Methodist to hold chartering Sunday

Published 9:28 am Friday, October 13, 2023

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Eight weeks after the unofficial split of LaGrange First United Methodist Church, the new Wesley Methodist Church of LaGrange is ready to make it official with a charter service on Sunday.

Like many United Methodist Churches on Aug. 13, LaGrange FUMC held a vote on whether to disaffiliate with the United Methodist Church over reasons of conscience regarding a change in the requirements and provisions of the Book of Discipline related to the practice of homosexuality or the ordination or marriage of self-avowed practicing homosexuals.

Ultimately, the vote to disaffiliate narrowly failed with 64.3% of the 535 votes cast choosing to leave the United Methodist Church. Even though a majority of voters chose to disaffiliate, they needed a two-thirds majority to officially do so. 

Two weeks later, Senior Pastor Dr. John Beyers, was suspended in a surprise announcement by UMC District Superintendent the Rev. Susan Landry.

Beyers has since taken over as minister of the newly created Wesley Methodist Church of LaGrange, where many of the former FUMC congregation have landed.

The church is currently holding worship services and Sunday school out of the Western Heights Baptist Church gymnasium with church offices in the Hammett Building in Downtown LaGrange.

In a letter to Wesley congregants dated Oct.2, Beyers announced that the church would officially charter as Wesley Methodist Church of LaGrange, a Global Methodist Congregation, on Oct. 15, 2023.   

“As many of you know, my life and ministry is greatly shaped and inspired by the faithful

witness of John and Charles Wesley who loved their church too much to see it fall into decline. They knew it needed a reformation and a return to the Biblical principles that had made it great,” Beyers said in the letter.

Sunday will mark the first opportunity for people who have been attending Wesley Methodist to have an opportunity to take vows of membership to be a part of the new church. 

“John felt it was important for us to take the opportunity to come together as a congregation and body of Christ and to understand what it means to be a member of the church and our affiliation with the Global Methodist Church as well,” Page Estes said.

Estes said after the service they will take photos for a church directory and people will sign the charter roll as charter members of the church.