Churches across the country held their first Sunday services following the United Methodist Church’s vote to keep its stance against same-sex marriage and LGBTQ clergy.
The entire church district gathered at First Broad Street United Methodist Church in Kingsport Sunday afternoon to discuss what happened at General Conference in St.Louis this past week.
News Channel 11’s Kristen Gallant arrived at the church just before 3 p.m. and said dozens were already in attendance.
The public was invited to the discussion, where Rev. Jeff Wright and Pastor Randy Frye lead in prayer telling the public that with forum was not a place to debate.
“We sometimes forget that we share very different cultures under the umbrella of the United Methodist and decisions made at General Conference can at times have very unfortunate and unforeseen consequences in other places in those other cultures,” said Frye.
That conference was held in St. Louis just last week, where they voted on the language in the Methodist Church Book of Discipline.
That vote could have changed the wording pertaining to human sexuality or leave it as is.
Ultimately the church decided to stay with The Traditional Plan, which reaffirms the church’s present teachings on human sexuality.
Linda Murphy is a church member at First Broad Street United Methodist Church, and she said she hopes this decision will be good in the long run.
“We do grieve for those people, but we hope in the end that it will all work out and that we can still minister together,” Murphy said. “I agree on what the conference came up with. I have been in this church for 59 years of my life and I think we’re going to continue to be the church that we’ve always been.”.
Pastor Frye told his congregation Sunday morning before the open forum that his doors are open to everyone.
“There are a lot of people hurting in our body, our family, and as long as there’s anybody hurting, I hope we all are hurting.”
First Broad Street UMC is located at 100 E Church Cir, Kingsport, TN.