Press Release — Rockbridge Methodist Church

The Rockbridge Methodist Church has disaffiliated from The United Methodist Church denomination and has joined the Global Methodist Church, a new Methodist denomination.

The Board of Trustees of the Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church reached a financial and property settlement with the former Rockbridge United Methodist Church, Rockbridge, IL. This settlement was ratified by the Annual Conference on May 6, 2023. The Rockbridge church was organized in 1887 and is located in Greene County in the Conference’s LaMoine River District. The former United Methodist members worshiping there have organized a new congregation known as the Methodist Church of Rockbridge, Inc. and have now affiliated with the Global Methodist Church.

Under the terms of the settlement, the Illinois Great Rivers Conference will relinquish its interest in the local church’s real estate located in Rockbridge, IL.

The Conference has received an undisclosed payment that includes the church’s share of pension obligations for former United Methodist clergy who had previously served the church, as well as apportionment obligations as required by paragraph 2553 of The Book of Discipline.

Bishop Frank Beard said, “In an effort to honor Christ, we were able to sit down, discuss our differences, and recognize that we were on two different paths. To conclude in the best interest of all, a peaceful separation was warranted.” Bishop Beard serves ads the episcopal leader of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference of The United Methodist Church. “We were able to demonstrate effective Christian conferencing. I believe we, even in separating, have honored Jesus Christ.”

The Methodist Church of Rockbridge, Inc. will remove all references to the United Methodist Church from its property, including the “Cross and Flame” logo. The Conference has released the assets from The United Methodist Church Trust Clause.