Why the Global Methodist Church? 

and Why Now?

WHY the Global Methodist Church?

Except for the Global Methodist Church (GMC), the top five largest Methodist denominations in the United States require some form of the trust clause, which requires the denomination to own church buildings and property. Following disaffiliation, First Methodist Church of Shreveport, LA took complete ownership of its property and assets.

While independent Methodist networks (such as the Foundry Network, Methodist Collegiate Church, and smaller Methodist denominations) offer an organic and nimble approach to ministry, they are mainly associated by senior pastor and prefer to exist in groups of 12-24 churches. Structure and accountability are highly relational, and yet also informal. For these reasons, the affiliation study group felt the network model lacks the depth, breadth and formal accountability that First Methodist Church of Shreveport, LA seeks in a far-reaching, global connection. This is also true of remaining a Methodist congregation, independent from any other church. 

In comparison, the GMC model is being created with a leaner organizational structure, giving more autonomy and authority to local congregations while maintaining strong connectional ties for its member clergy and congregations — and ties that are rooted in the original Wesleyan standards of the Christian faith. Following in the traditions established by John and Charles Wesley, the GMC serves all who wish to join in a “methodical,” warm-hearted pursuit of loving God and serving others as Jesus’ disciples in the world.

Studying the GMC through the discernment frameworks listed in the next article on this website, the team found the GMC affiliation option to be the strongest fit for First Methodist Church of Shreveport, LA in the following areas:

Theology – A refreshed, fully aligned expression of traditional Wesleyan Christianity

Connection – Development of a broad network of like-minded clergy and congregations

Next Generation Leaders – Training and equipping Gen Z for ministry in the 21st century

Church Planting – Starting new faith communities in response to the Great Commission

Global Reach – Practice in all of these areas on a worldwide scale


Time – First Methodist Church of Shreveport, LA has been engaged in this process of transition for nearly a year. Much affiliation work has been accomplished by many during the season of disaffiliation. 

Taking Care of Our Pastors – Clergy Benefits (pension and health insurance) and Ministerial Credentials are of immense importance to the pastors of First Methodist Church of Shreveport, LA. We have pastors who will be officiating weddings this summer, and must be credentialed in order to do so. If the church opts to join the GMC, then five members of our church staff will be ordained this summer at the Eastern Texas Annual Conference of the GMC (on July 22nd, 2023 at Christ Church in College Station, TX). Those to be ordained as an Elder include: Dr. Ashley Goad, Dr. Will Andress, Rev. Stephanie Kidd, and Rev. Matthew Hulbert. Dr. David Hobson will be ordained as a Deacon. Also, in order to continue serving as a Chaplain in the United States Army Reserve, Dr. Steven Bell must be endorsed by a religious body. The Global Methodist Church, and its endorsing ministry, have been recognized by the US Department of Defense as a legitimate religious body in less than a year, which is quite miraculous!

Church Bylaws – First Methodist Church of Shreveport, LA has been operating out of a set of church bylaws, called the Book of Discipline, since it was founded in 1845. The Global Methodist Church has spent countless hours creating a Transitional Book of Doctrines and Discipline that serves as the bylaws for GMC congregations. This is important for numerous reasons:

There is no need to recreate the wheel. Creating our own independent set of church bylaws would be incredibly time consuming.

We need a legal “umbrella” under with to find ourselves as a congregation.

Our church legal counsel has advised us to move quickly to secure affiliation so as to have established bylaws for our new legal entity.

Church Identity – For nearly 180 years, First Methodist Church of Shreveport, LA has demonstrated a “connectional” polity. This is who we are. We are not a congregational or independent church. Therefore, our “independent” status should be as short as possible. 

Leadership Responsibility – There are 162+ former United Methodist congregations who are looking to First Methodist Church of Shreveport, LA for leadership. We are in a leadership position with these and other congregations, and we desire to stay connected to them. Also, the Eastern Texas Conference of the GMC transitionally includes the areas of Houston, East Texas, all of Louisiana, and all of Arkansas. What is right in the heart of that geographical location? You got it – Shreveport, LA! Yes, our church will be positioned in many ways to provide significant leadership to this new movement of the Holy Spirit in this part of the world and through the GMC. 

Thousands of former United Methodist churches have already affiliated with the Global Methodist Church, and there are thousands more who will be. The GMC is the landing place that was intentionally created for disaffiliating churches like First Methodist Church of Shreveport, LA, and it will truly be the very best new home for our wonderful congregation.