from the desk of
Bishop James E. Swanson, Sr.
Bishop in Residence
Mississippi Episcopal Area

Greetings Mississippi Conference,

I’m writing to provide clarity on the events and outcome of a recent called church conference at First United Methodist Church of Louisville, and a called church conference at Bevil Hill United Methodist Church that were held due to persons in both congregations expressing a desire to leave The United Methodist Church.
During the conference at First United Methodist Church of Louisville, the congregation was asked to participate in a Membership Affirmation where they individually declared their desires to remain a member of The United Methodist Church or to withdraw their membership. Of the members present, 175 persons decided to withdraw their membership in The United Methodist Church, six decided to remain a member in The United Methodist Church and one person was undecided.
When the members of Bevil Hill gathered for a called church conference and held their Membership Affirmation, all 22 members present decided to withdraw their membership in The United Methodist Church.
Both churches are still continued as United Methodist Churches of the Mississippi Annual Conference with the Rev. Mike Childs as their appointed pastor. Neither church has officially been closed as a United Methodist Church. The results of those called church conferences only begin the process of discerning the viability of the churches and their future with The United Methodist Church. More updates and information will be forthcoming as details become finalized.

I ask that you pray for the congregations of Bevil Hill and First United Methodist Churches, their leadership and all involved in this matter as we seek to hear God’s voice and be led by the Holy Spirit.


Bishop James E. Swanson Sr.

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