By Allison Trussell
FLORENCE—The Annual Conference paused for moments of silence following the adoption of three resolutions discontinuing churches across the state.
The Rev. Cathy Jamieson, secretary to the Cabinet, brought the resolutions to the floor Wednesday morning as part of her report on charge line changes. Mount Tabor UMC, Chesterfield County, Hartsville District; Charles Wesley UMC, Aiken County, Orangeburg District; and Bethlehem UMC, Greenwood County, Greenwood District, consented to be discontinued, and congregational membership and property will be transferred to neighboring churches.
Bishop Jonathan Holston offered a prayer for each of the discontinued churches while those connected to the churches stood.
“For the ministry, for the mission, for the laity and clergy (of these churches), a part of this body, we pray for them who have gone before us and the work that has been done through them. We at this time, Lord, acknowledge those who have been blessed by this ministry and we give you thanks. In your name we pray, Amen.”
Nine districts had charge line changes brought before and approved by Annual Conference Wednesday morning. Those changes created 14 station churches.
In the Anderson District, the North Anderson Charge was rearranged, making Toxaway a station church and allowing John Wesley and Sandy Springs to continue as the North Anderson Charge.
The Ebenezer-Hood’s Chapel Charge in the Charleston District was dissolved, creating a station church of Ebenezer and attaching Hood’s Chapel to the Berkeley Circuit Charge.
Wesley Memorial UMC, Columbia District, has changed its name to Heyward Street UMC.
Greenville District dissolved both the Grace-Zoar and Gray Court-Trinity charges, creating four station churches.
In the Greenwood District, the O’Neal Street-Ebenezer Charge was dissolved, making O’Neal Street a station church and attaching Ebenezer to Lewis Memorial to form the Lewis Memorial-Ebenezer Charge. Also, Ebenezer, Greenwood, was attached to Panola to form the Ebenezer-Panola Charge. Mount Carmel, Ninety Six, was attached to the Greenwood Ninety Six Charge. Bethlehem, Greenwood, was discontinued and its property was transferred to St. Mark, Greenwood.
Hartsville District had four changes. The Jefferson Parish was dissolved, creating the Sandy Grove-Mount Elon Charge and the Hopewell-Wesley Chapel Charge. The Emmanuel-Mount Zion Charge was dissolved, making both churches station churches. The Wilkes-Bethesda Charge was dissolved, with Bethesda becoming a station church and Wilkes Chapel being attached to Wesley Chapel, Chesterfield, forming the Chesterfield Parish. Mount Tabor was discontinued from the Chesterfield Parish.
The Hopewell-Union Charge, Marion District, was dissolved, leaving both churches as station churches.
The Rowesville Parish, Orangeburg District, was dissolved, making Prospect a station church. Mayes Chapel and Central will continue as the Rowesville Parish. Charles Wesley, Aiken, was discontinued.
In the Walterboro District, the Hardeeville-St. Luke Charge was dissolved, creating two station churches.