May Calendar

May 7: Women’s Bible Study, 1:15 pm

May 7: Church Council, 7:00 pm

May 13: Bible Study @ Greenfield Grace Church, 7:00 pm

May 14: Women’s Bible Study, 7:00 pm

May 15: Family Night, 6:30 pm

May 18: Men’s Breakfast, 6:00 am

May 19: Baccalaureate Service, 3:00 pm. Charity Baptist in Greenfield

May 20: Bible Study @ Greenfield Grace Church, 7:00 pm

May 21: Women’s Bible Study, 1:15 pm

May 28: Women’s Bible Study, 1:15 pm

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

I hear that the Rockbridge United Methodist Church is now a Global Methodist Church. How did that happen?

The United Methodist Church denomination provided a way – for a limited time – to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church. This process included a period of prayerful discernment, several meetings with the congregation and the United Methodist Conference. It required a vote of the congregation and of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference to approve the disaffiliation. The conference vote—essentially the final step – was held on Saturday, May 6, 2023. As of the conclusion of that meeting, the Rockbridge church was disaffiliated from the United Methodist denomination.

Has the Rockbridge United Methodist Church always been United Methodist?

No. The church began in 1887 as the Methodist Episcopal Church. (This name is still in the stained-glass window above the front doors!) It was the Methodist Episcopal Church, or many times referred to as the M.E. Church, until 1939 when it simply became the Methodist Church. In 1968, the Methodist denomination merged with another denomination known as the Evangelical United Brethren Church. It’s at that time that the church in Rockbridge became the United Methodist Church. After the vote to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church, the congregation has voted to align with the Global Methodist Church.

Why did the church want to disaffiliate from the United Methodist denomination?

The United Methodist Church has been on a progressive, liberal trajectory in terms of its leadership and practice. In addition, the denomination has failed to uphold its own standards of belief and doctrines. An example is that pastors in the United Methodist Church are not allowed to perform same-sex weddings, yet there are pastors and even bishops who have done this – many without repercussions.  Indications are that this progressive trajectory will continue in the foreseeable future.

Will the name of the church in Rockbridge be changed?

During this transition period, we are the Rockbridge Methodist Church. (That’s what most people call us anyway!) We will decide later if this is the name we will ultimately use.

Will Rev. Kevin Hembrough continue as pastor of the church?

Yes. Rev. Hembrough has also transferred his credentials to the Global Methodist Church and will continue as pastor.

How long has the Global Methodist denomination been in existence?

The Global Methodist Church began on May 1, 2022. It now has over 2000 congregations and growing every day. Most of these churches are former United Methodist Churches.

What are the advantages of being in the Global Methodist denomination?

One of the most significant differences relates to property. Throughout the history of the Methodist denomination (as outlined above), there has been attached to property deeds what is known as the trust clause. It states that all the property of the local church is held “in trust” for the denomination. Even though local people pay for the building, etc., the denomination has ultimate control over it. Permission to buy or sell property must be approved by the appropriate body in the denomination. In the Global Methodist Church, there is no trust clause. Part of the disaffiliation process included the releasing of the trust clause and deeds changed to reflect local church control and ownership.

Another advantage is that in the Global Methodist Church, the local church has more input as to who is appointed as pastor of the church. In the past, there often has been no input on the appointment of a pastor.

And yet another advantage is that the amount of money that is required from each church for denomination expenses and ministries is a fraction of what it was in the United Methodist Church. This allows for more resources to invest in local ministries and serving this community.

The Global Methodist Church adheres to the historic tenants of the Christian faith as found in the Bible and the Apostles’ Creed.

What is the mission of the Global Methodist Church?

From the Global Methodist Church website:  Our mission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ who worship passionately, love extravagantly, and witness boldly.

For further information about the Global Methodist Church:  www.globalmethodist.org

What are the website and social media links for the Rockbridge Church?

Website:  www.rockbridgemethodist.church

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/rockbridgeilmc

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.