I was virtually born in the Guyandotte Methodist Church before it became the Guyandotte United Methodist Church. I can’t remember when or who the Methodists merged with to change the name to the United Methodist Church.
But I remember when the Southern Methodist Church, where I was reared, joined with the Northern Methodist Church, which was a couple of blocks away in Guyandotte.
Imagine, they buried the bad vibes from the Civil War in the mid 20th Century.
The Guyandotte church where I was sprinkled (they called it baptized) and went to Sunday school was the southern church. The building where I worshipped was built after the Civil War. The previous southern church was burnt to the ground by the Yankees as revenge for all the southern sympathizers in the town of Guyandotte
I don’t remember the joining ceremony when the two branches of the Methodist Church joined in the southern church. But the story goes that one of my great aunts stopped being a Methodist because she wasn’t going to go to a Johnny Reb church.
I have been to a dozen funerals for family members in that church. It was at my aunt’s funeral that I learned what Methodist meant.
John Wesley believed there ought to be a method to worship, and my aunt wanted a traditional Methodist funeral. I swear it lasted almost two hours as recorded for posterity in the back of the Methodist hymnal.
And now it appears the United Methodist Church is about to become “ununited” over gayness and LGBTQ, of all things.
It has been announced that, when the church meets in conference in a few months, the conservatives in the church, who want nothing to do with gay people and especially gay marriage, will split with the liberal Methodists who welcome LGBTQ folks and don’t mind having gay weddings in their churches.
I heard one of the liberal Methodist ministers commenting on the expected split in the church on cable TV. She identified herself as “queer.”
My mama, aunt and many other Methodist family members are probably spinning in their graves. Me? I don’t need to choose. I don’t go to the United Methodist Church or any church these days. But I still have fond memories of the Guyandotte church and Mount Union Methodist Church, which I attended as a teenager.
But I suspect both of them will join the conservative Methodists.
That’s just the way they are.