15 more Holston churches will disaffiliate after Sept. 7 vote

15 more Holston churches will disaffiliate after Sept. 7 vote

Belinda Kenny, a Mountain View District member, shares a responsive blessing during the Holston Annual Conference's online special session on Sept. 7. Screenshot from the Holston Communications recording

ALCOA, Tenn. – In an online meeting on Sept. 7, the Holston Annual Conference ratified the disaffiliations of 15 local churches from The United Methodist Church.

The 15 churches requesting to leave the denomination are an addition to 264 churches that disaffiliated after an in-person Special Session of the Holston Annual Conference held April 22 in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The most recent disaffiliation of 15 churches will become effective September 21, 2023, said Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett, resident bishop. Holston Conference will then include a membership of more than 540 local churches in Southwest Virginia, East Tennessee, and North Georgia.
Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett
speaks at the podium during
the online session while Rev. 
Tim Jones oversees communications.

“The Holston Conference will miss the congregations that are disaffiliating today from The United Methodist Church. At the same time, we rejoice with the churches that are continuing on the journey together as United Methodists,” Wallace-Padgett said.

The 15 churches were given a “second opportunity” to have their disaffiliation requests approved because they began the long process to leave the denomination along with the larger church group that was approved on April 22, according to conference leaders. However, the 15 churches did not fulfill final requirements by the March 6 paperwork deadline and so could not be included in the April 22 session.

The 15 churches leaving the denomination this month are located in four of Holston Conference’s nine districts and include:

Appalachian District: Ft. Blackmore (Ft. Blackmore,VA); Dungannon (Dungannon, VA), Slant (Ft. Blackmore, VA)

Hiwassee District: First (Sweetwater, TN); Ironsburg (Tellico Plains, TN)

Mountain View District: Ebbing & Flowing Springs (Rogersville, TN); Hardin’s Chapel (Greeneville, TN); Hartman’s Chapel (Mosheim, TN)

New River District: Asbury (Galax, VA); Bailey (Bluefield, VA); Leonard Memorial (Galax, VA); Longview (Galax, VA); Pilot (Pilot, VA); Round Bottom (Narrows, VA); Sidney (Riner, VA)

The Sept. 7 session was presented by church leaders and persons leading prayer through YouTube live and Zoom from Holston Conference's main offices in Alcoa. About 500 members of the Holston Annual Conference joined in the online gathering through Zoom, according to the Rev. Tim Jones, communications director. Of those, 333 voted “yes” to ratify the disaffiliation requests. Fifteen members voted “no.”

See online recording of Sept. 7 session:

For more information, email Jones, communications director, at timjones@holston.org.

See also: Disaffiliations approved by annual conferences, by UM News

Holston Conference includes member churches in East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, and North Georgia, with main offices in Alcoa, Tennessee. Sign up for a free email subscription to The Call.


annette july 2023.jpg
Annette Spence

Annette Spence is editor of The Call, the Holston Conference newsletter.

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