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22 Southern California churches plan to break off from United Methodist amid LGBTQ+ dispute

Fountain Valley church plans to break off from United Methodist Church over LGBTQ issues
Fountain Valley church plans to break off from United Methodist Church over LGBTQ issues 02:17

This could be the final summer for Fountain Valley's 59-year-old church, The Fount. 

"It's a real crime that we may be evicted from it and then have to start over," said Pastor Glen Haworth. 

The Fount is a traditional United Methodist Church. Its 50 members are against ordaining or appointing LGBTQ+ clergy. The congregation follows the denomination's Book of Discipline and Haworth said the rules outlined in it are being ignored.

A pastor at The Fount said the Church is drifting to the left and ignores the teachings of the Bible.  KCAL News

"Our membership and over 6,000 other churches in the US feel that while we love all people and embrace them as God's children, we do not believe that the acts of homosexual practice are allowable under the Bible and so our stance is to hold true to that," said Haworth. 

The pastor said because the United Methodist is drifting to the left and continues to ignore the teachings of the Bible, his church must disaffiliate and operate independently. The soonest this church could disaffiliate from the denomination is November. However, it must first come up with a payment of more than $3 million. This is something that the pastor here at The Fount said would be impossible. 

The money would be paid to the United Methodist Church of Southern California. In an email, Reverend Sandra Olewine, who oversees The Fount, explained that a church doesn't own its property and if there is a disagreement over homosexuality, a particular church has the option of buying the property for 50 cents on the dollar. 

It will then own the land, free and clear, and can operate as it chooses. 

"We may end up having to just abandon the property, close down the preschool, scout troop. Close down the four other churches that meet here," said Haworth. 

There are 21 other United Methodist churches in Southern California that want to cut ties as well. 

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