In an extremely rare move, the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church has seized the assets of Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church in Marietta amid a fight over who should be its senior pastor.
The conference announced its stunning decision in a statement released Monday and said it was “acting out of love for the church and its mission” and to “preserve the legacy of the Mt. Bethel church and its longstanding history of mission and ministry.”
The conference’s board of trustees will assume management of the church. Mt. Bethel, located at 4385 Lower Roswell Road in Marietta, has one of the largest congregations in the conference.
Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson and the eight district superintendents “have unanimously determined that ‘exigent circumstances’ have threatened the continued vitality and mission of Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church,” according to the statement. “Given this determination, all assets of the local church have transferred immediately to the conference’s board of trustees of the North Georgia Conference.”
To read entire Atlanta Journal-Constitution story, click HERE.
I think we will find this “extremely rare move” will become a lot less rare over the next couple of years. If this isn’t enough to convince churches to lawyer up and leave now I don’t know what is.