SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) — Central United Methodist Church in Spartanburg welcomes the LGBTQ community into its congregation.
United Methodist Church leaders voted earlier this year against same-sex marriages and the ordination of LGBTQ clergy.
“I’m truly sorry if the truth of the gospel hurts anyone, but know that I and those who support the traditional plan, love you enough to tell you the truth,” one believer in support of upholding the ban said.
A little more than a week ago, Central United Methodist Church sent a press release saying that it welcomes everyone, including the gay community.
The downtown Spartanburg church was established 180 years ago.
“We’ve got somewhat of a different set of issues here in the southeast because the southeast tends to be very traditional on this issue,” said Central United Methodist Church Pastor Tom H. Norrell.
The issue could drive a wedge between the historic church and the United Methodist Church.
“This church council has said that it would recommend to the whole congregation to vote on disaffiliation, it would be a vote of the entire congregation,” Dr. Norrell said.
Morgan Wingler says that she believes the church is following the teachings of Jesus.
“I think a lot of people in that community have felt shunned or disconnected from the church by past experience or whatever… I think it’s a really great way to invite them in, let them see that the church is actually about love and not hate,” Wingler says.
The United Methodist Church is the second largest Protestant denomination in the United States, according to the Pew Research Center.