(RNS) — South Carolina’s largest United Methodist church is gearing up to break from the denomination with a formal vote expected next month.
Mt. Horeb United Methodist, located in Lexington, South Carolina, 17 miles from Columbia, the state capital, has for some time been inching toward a disaffiliation vote. For the past several years the church has been active in the Wesleyan Covenant Association, the group that birthed the rival Global Methodist Church last year.
Beginning Monday (Jan. 9), Mt. Horeb begins a 30-day discernment period after which it will vote on whether to break away from the denomination. Two-thirds of the congregation must vote to leave to trigger the exit. The vote will take place in February.
Pastor Jeff Kersey, the church’s longtime pastor, has been clear that he favors pulling out of the denomination because of its perceived slide away from orthodox…