Methodists/church ownership


QUESTION: It's my understanding that a church is owned by the trustees of the church and can only be closed and sold by the conference if the congregation is not having services there...can the conference sell the church out from under a congregation

ANSWER: Jeffrey:
I feel your understanding is correct. I have not known of a church being sold from under a congregation. The 2012 Book of Discipline is the final authority. A local District Superintendent would be the best interpreter.
Delton K

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank You...another question...we're being forced to change to a contemporary service by the district/conference to bring in younger people but we are a small community church with a lot of older congregants that are not as fond of it and want a traditional service according to the liturgy...what can I do to help them understand that we don't want this

ANSWER: Jeffrey:
Who exactly is "forcing" you to make these changes? Which conference officer or agent is doing this threatening? Who is in charge of worship at your church? How will you be punished it you do not obey? What does your pastor think of this, or are you the pastor? Does the District Superintendent know about this? Does the Bishop know about this?
Don't be shy. Track down the people involved and get some answers, if you can.
Best Wishes.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I'm not the pastor...I am one of the congregants and we have a pastoral team of 2 students that are not ordained yet and the bishop does the sermon on a taped video on screen...they want to build a new alter where they will have a praise band with drum kit which I think is sacrilege on sanctuary altar but my main concern is the local congregations rights when it comes to the conference

You have a real problem. I still feel the District Superintendent is your best resource if you can get his/her attention. Also check out the 2012 Book of Discipline - that may not be practical because the rules for your situation are often interpreted by the Bishop. Your Administrative Board and Trustees - especially the Trustees need to be involved in this situation.  Write up your situation and send it to the Bishop in a formal letter saying that you expect a response.  Wish I could be of more help.
Delton K


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Delton Krueger


United Methodist Pastor, District Superintendent, Conference Executive for over sixty years. Book of Discipline and General Conference experience. Also provider of information regarding the sacred days of the great world religions. Experience in working with many world religions and in business at Mall of America.


Author of a widely used interfaith calendar -
Over fifty years of experience in the field of religion with a primary focus on Christianity and including experience with people of world religions.

Mall Area Religious Council
United Methodist Church as ordained clergyperson
Bloomington Community Foundation

Portable Guide to World Religions 2007

Hamline University, St. Paul, MN Drew University School of Theology, Madison NJ

©2017 All rights reserved.