NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Nearly a dozen churches across the Lowcountry are set to “close” later this month over a disagreement with the stated doctrine of the United Methodist Church.

It comes after approximately 1,500 members of the 2023 South Carolina Annual Conference widely approved of the closure of 113 churches statewide after voting to separate from the United Methodist Church on Tuesday.

The churches determined that they could no longer function as a UMC branch because of their beliefs that the denomination has not upheld its stated doctrine on issues of human sexuality: prohibiting performing same-gender weddings and the ordination of “self-avowed practicing homosexuals,” according to the UMC Book of Discipline.

Five churches from the Charleston district will close:

  • Aldersgate UMC (North Charleston)
  • Charleston Korean UMC (North Charleston)
  • Friendship UMC (Cross)
  • Pinopolis UMC (Pinopolis)
  • Point Hope UMC (Mt. Pleasant)

Six churches from the Walterboro district will close:

  • Tillman UMC (Tillman)
  • Cottageville UMC (Cottageville)
  • Cypress UMC (Ridgeville)
  • Mt. Tabor UMC (Ridgeville)
  • Trinity UMC (Ridgeville)
  • St. Paul UMC (Ridgeland)

“We pray for these churches that have chosen a different journey,” Bishop L. Jonathan Holston said after the June 6 vote. “May we also acknowledge that that which binds us will never leave us. In the midst of our separation, may we show each other the grace and love that you demonstrated through your sacrifice on the cross and your resurrection from the grave.”

Church leaders tell News 2 that while these churches will depart under the UMC affiliation, they will not be closing in the traditional sense.

The properties are being transferred to independent church entities, which were created in order to allow them to separate.

Some will join the Global Methodist Church, some will become independent.

A member of the pastoral board for Pinopolis UMC told News 2 that they will remain open as the Pinopolis Community Church beginning July 1.

Aldersgate in North Charleston will also continue serving its congregation and the community. Church leaders provided the following statement following Tuesday’s decision:

“Aldersgate will be continuing operation and associating with the Global Methodist Church. The operations of Holy City Missions and the Warming Shelter will not be affected. Nothing has changed in serving our community. All programs will be continuing as normal.”

Separating churches will leave the UMC affiliation on June 30, 2023. A full list of churches set to close across the state is provided below.

Anderson District

  • St. Andrew UMC (Easley)
  • Chiquola UMC (Honea Path)
  • Bells UMC (Abbeville)
  • Salem UMC (Salem)

Charleston District

  • Aldersgate UMC (North Charleston)
  • Charleston Korean UMC (North Charleston)
  • Friendship UMC (Cross)
  • Pinopolis UMC (Pinopolis)
  • Point Hope UMC (Mt. Pleasant)

Columbia District

  • Columbia Korean UMC (Columbia)
  • Rehoboth UMC (Batesburg-Leesville)
  • Chapin UMC (Chapin)
  • Lebanon UMC (Eastover)
  • Mt. Horeb UMC (Lexington)
  • Pond Branch UMC (Gilbert)

Florence District

  • Cades UMC (Cades)
  • Cameron UMC (Lake City)
  • First UMC (Hemingway)
  • St. Paul UMC (Coward)
  • Ebenezer UMC (Hemingway)
  • Old Johnsonville UMC (Johnsonville)
  • Mt. Vernon UMC (Greeleyville)
  • Prospect UMC (Pamplico)
  • Lane UMC (Lane)
  • Liberty Chapel UMC (Florence)
  • New Zion UMC (New Zion)
  • Pine Grove UMC (Timmonsville)
  • Pisgah UMC (Florence)
  • Cedar Swamp UMC (Kingstree)
  • Millwood UMC (Kingstree)
  • Tabernacle UMC (Pamplico)
  • Shiloh UMC-Turbeville (Lynchburg)
  • Trinity UMC-New Zion (Alcolu)
  • Trio UMC (Salters)
  • Pine Grove UMC (Turbeville)
  • Salem UMC (Timmonsville)
  • Earle UMC (Andrews)
  • Suttons UMC (Andrews)
  • Good Hope UMC (Hemingway)
  • St Luke UMC-Kingstree (Salters)

Greenville District

  • Dials UMC (Gray Court)
  • Shiloh UMC (Gray Court)
  • Buncombe Street UMC (Greenville)
  • Covenant UMC (Greer)
  • Sharon UMC (Greer)
  • Zoar UMC (Greer)
  • Mauldin UMC (Mauldin)
  • Mountain View UMC (Taylors)

Greenwood District

  • Hodges UMC (Hodges)
  • Shiloh UMC (Saluda)
  • Butler UMC (Saluda)
  • McCormick UMC (McCormick)

Hartsville District

  • Concord UMC (Bishopville)
  • Dalzell UMC (Dalzell)
  • Lewis Chapel UMC (Sumter)
  • Bethel-Oswego UMC (Sumter)
  • McLeod Chapel UMC (Rembert)
  • St. John UMC (Rembert)
  • St. John UMC (Sumter)
  • St. Mark’s UMC-Broad Street (Sumter)
  • St. Matthew UMC (Bishopville)
  • Beulah UMC (Camden)

Marion District

  • Trinity UMC (Andrews)
  • Wayne UMC (Georgetown)
  • Bethel UMC-Georgetown (Andrews)
  • Aynor UMC (Aynor)
  • Rehoboth UMC-Aynor (Galivants Ferry)
  • First UMC (Bennettsville)
  • Zoan UMC (Loris)
  • Antioch UMC (Bennettsville)
  • Christ UMC (Bennettsville)
  • Pisgah UMC (Aynor)
  • Boykin UMC (Bennettsville)
  • Trinity UMC (Clio)
  • Pine Grove UMC (McColl)
  • Smyrna UMC (Bennettsville)
  • Berea UMC (McColl)
  • Main Street (Dillon)
  • First UMC (Loris)
  • Main Street UMC (McColl)
  • Brown Swamp UMC (Conway)
  • Oak Grove UMC (Wallace)
  • Pleasant Hill UMC (Marion/Wallace)
  • Center UMC (Mullins)
  • Tranquil UMC (Mullins)

Orangeburg District

  • Limestone UMC (Orangeburg)
  • Ebenezer UMC-Orange Circuit (North)
  • Cattle Creek UMC (Rowesville)

Rock Hill District

  • Grace Community UMC (Fort Mill)
  • Capers Chapel UMC (Chester)
  • Catawba UMC (Catawba)
  • New Hope UMC (Chester)
  • Armenia UMC (Chester)
  • Mt. Vernon UMC (Hickory Grove)
  • Bethel UMC (Lancaster)

Spartanburg District

  • Wesley Chapel UMC (Union)
  • Liberty UMC-Campobello (Landrum)
  • Buffalo UMC (Buffalo)
  • Campobello UMC (Campobello)
  • Carlisle UMC (Carlisle)
  • Bethlehem UMC-Jonesville (Union)
  • Sardis UMC (Union)
  • Fosters Chapel UMC (Jonesville)
  • Lyman UMC (Lyman)
  • Roebuck UMC (Roebuck)
  • Reidville Road UMC (Moore)
  • Walnut Grove UMC (Roebuck)

Walterboro District

  • Tillman UMC (Tillman)
  • Cottageville UMC (Cottageville)
  • Cypress UMC (Ridgeville)
  • Mt. Tabor UMC (Ridgeville)
  • Trinity UMC (Ridgeville)
  • St. Paul UMC (Ridgeland)