By Jessica Brodie
COLUMBIA—Churches and their members who disaffiliate from The United Methodist Church will be able to remain part of the annual conference’s credit union if they affiliate with another Methodist or Wesleyan organization.
That’s the word from Andy Cox, president and CEO of the South Carolina Methodist Conference Credit Union, who said their board of directors approved in May an amendment to their bylaws allowing this. That change has also been approved by the South Carolina Office of the Commissioner of Banking as of mid-June and is effective immediately.
The South Carolina Methodist Conference Credit Union has been in existence since 1955 with a mission to serve the financial needs of the United Methodist community across South Carolina.
But as news of disaffiliating churches in South Carolina began to circulate, Cox said the board began to explore how they could move forward and serve God’s people in the midst.
With the change, a church (or church member) who separates from the UMC can become a member of the credit union as long as it affiliates with another Methodist or Wesleyan denomination, such as the Global Methodist Church.
Those who choose to go independent are not eligible.
“This is a way for us, from our missional standpoint, to bridge that divide in a certain way and be inclusive of everybody,” Cox explained.
He said those who are already members can remain a member regardless of their church affiliation.
“Once you’re a member, you’re always a member as long as your account is in good standing,” Cox said.
Credit union chair Dr. Roger Gramling said the effect of the change was to enable the credit union to “continue to serve those in the future whom it could have served in the past.”
“The purpose of the amendment in the near term is to offer the services of the Credit Union to those persons and local churches who may have chosen to disaffiliate from the South Carolina Conference but who may in time choose to remain a part of the wider Methodist or Wesleyan Family,” Gramling clarified.
For more on the credit union, which offers savings, loan, life insurance and other options, visit https://www.scmccu.org.