Annual Conference approves three church closures
Charge lines changed in five districts
By Allison Trussell
COLUMBIA—The South Carolina Annual Conference approved the ad-interim closures of three churches and charge line changes during its meeting Oct. 17.
The Rev. Cathy Jamieson, secretary to the Cabinet, presented the three resolutions of closure, reminding the conference that the cabinet continues in its commitment to help churches thrive, not just survive.
“However, there comes a time when difficult and hard decisions must be made for the closure of a church,” Jamieson said. “We acknowledge that these aren’t just buildings we are closing, but these are places where people sang hymns, where they celebrated the sacraments, where baptisms were celebrated, where weddings and funerals took place, and where people fellowshipped in the name of Jesus Christ.”
Christ United Methodist Church, Marion District, voted to request ad interim closure in February 2020. Greeleyville UMC, Florence District, requested ad interim closure in part because services were no longer being held at the location. Piedmont Park UMC, Greenville District, also requested ad interim closure in part because services were no longer being held.
Bishop Jonathan Holston requested those who have served as clergy or as members of these congregations to stand or to appropriately recognize the ministries that have occurred in these churches.
“These are all places where God’s word was spoken and shared, where people fellowshipped and heard God’s word together, where people learned and shared in fellowship together, but most importantly they were places of faith, hope and love.”
A prayer was offered before the resolutions were unanimously approved.
Charge line changes
Five districts had charge line changes approved during Annual Conference.
In the Florence District, Greeleyville UMC was closed (ad interim closure Jan. 13), leaving Lane UMC as a station church.
Piedmont Park UMC, Greenville District, was closed (ad interim closure Oct. 15, 2019).
Panola UMC in the Greenwood District was removed from the Ebenezer-Panola-Matthews Charge and attached to Lowell Street UMC to form the Panola-Lowell Street Charge. Ebenezer and Matthews remained attached to form the Ebenezer-Matthews Charge.
The Marlboro Circuit Charge was dissolved in the Marion District. Of the three churches on that charge, Pleasant Hill UMC, Wallace, becomes a station church, and New Hope UMC and Oak Grove UMC remain as the Marlboro Circuit Charge. Christ UMC, Carolina Forest, was closed (ad interim closure April 22).
In the Rock Hill District, Wesley Memorial UMC was added to the Chester Circuit Charge, now made up of Capers Chapel, New Hope and Wesley Memorial. Bethel was attached to Tabernacle to form the Tabernacle-Bethel Charge.
All the charge line changes went into effect July 1.