The largest Mennonite conference in the United States has officially split from the Mennonite Church U.S.A. over changing views on homosexuality. The Lancaster Mennonite Conference, which has over 179 congregations across New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio and over 70,000 members, officially left the denomination on Monday after about 82 percent of voting congregational leaders chose in November 2015 to take such an action.

The shifting leniency of the Mennonite Church USA, an Anabaptist denomination, toward same-sex marriage was one of the reasons why the conference felt the need to split. Conference Moderator L. Keith Weaver told Lancaster Online that church polity, vision and governance were other reasons for the change. Churches within the Lancaster Mennonite Conference were given two years to decide whether or not they wish to remain in the conference. READ MORE