United Methodist conference seizes church assets in dispute

MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) — A regional governing body for a Protestant denomination has seized assets of a congregation in Georgia during a dispute over who should be the senior pastor. Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church is in the Atlanta suburb of Marietta. It has about 8,000 members and is one of the largest congregations in the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church. The conference said Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson and the eight district superintendents “determined that ‘exigent circumstances’ have threatened the continued vitality and mission of Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church." The congregation disagrees, saying that seizing assets is a strange way to show love.

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