A large Mississippi congregation has opted to leave the United Methodist Church over the Mainline denomination’s divisive debate over its position on homosexuality.  The Orchard, a Tupelo-based congregation that has an average attendance of approximately 2,700, reached an “amicable separation” late last month with the UMC’s Mississippi Annual Conference.

Mississippi Conference leaders explained in an announcement in the regional body’s publication The Circuit Rider that the separation had been finalized between the megachurch and the denomination.  “The prior appointed clergy at The Orchard have voluntarily surrendered their credentials and are no longer United Methodist ministers. The Orchard Church has ownership of its property and will continue their ministry in their satellite locations,” noted the announcement.  READ MORE