On June 30, 2023, Main Street Methodist Church filed the deeds to the Church building and property as its own entity, no longer affiliated with the United Methodist Church.
Even though debate began decades ago regarding same-sex marriages and homosexuality, the wording of the Methodist Book of Discipline (the law and doctrine of the United Methodist Church) has not changed, specifically that homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching and that homosexuals cannot be ordained. However, many UMC Bishops were openly in defiance of this governing book and the ongoing inconsistency cast doubt on the fundamental beliefs held by the people called Methodists.
In a process that began decades ago, every four years at the UMC General Conference (the only body that speaks for the United Methodist Church), the issue of same-sex marriages and homosexuality has been debated by the United Methodist Church. And every four years, the basic wording of the Book of Discipline has remained the same, specifically that homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching and that self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in the United Methodist Church. While this would seem a good thing for the traditionalist or conservative Methodist Churches, the ongoing debate cast doubt on the fundamental beliefs held by the people called Methodists.
In late December 2022, the SC Conference of the United Methodist Church allowed for a discernment process for SC churches to decide whether they could remain with the United Methodist Church. Thus began the long, intense, and sometimes painful process for Main Street Dillon. Its members held weekly listening sessions, read numerous documents and letters, watched videos, and debated what being a Methodist at Main Street meant. In addition, there were many deadlines, legal requirements, and financial payments to the SC Conference that were made to comply with the process.
Ultimately the congregation, believing that all people are of sacred worth and are equally valuable in the sight of God, decided their beliefs aligned more with the traditional teachings of Jesus and the Bible and requested disaffiliation from the United Methodist Church.
At the June 2023 SC Annual Conference, Main Street and 112 other churches across the state were approved for separation. As the old entity was dissolved, Main Street Methodist Church has returned to the name it was known by when Dillon became a city, and the church was located where the Courthouse now sits.
Grounded in the teachings of John Wesley, Main Street desires to be a church that follows the example of Jesus Christ. Everyone is welcome to worship and actively live out their faith at Main Street. We invite anyone who wishes to experience the love of the Father and His prevenient, justifying, and sanctifying grace as a follower of Jesus Christ to join us each Sunday – 10:00 a.m. for Sunday School and 11:00 a.m. for Worship Service. We are thankful to celebrate the Lord’s Supper on the first Sunday of every month.
Pictured are Rev. Henry Altman, Dr. Phil Wallace (Staff Parish Chairman), Robert Tallon (Church Council Chairman), Charles Curry, Esquire, attorney of record, and Attorney Sam Brown. At the computer is Mrs. Lee. Not pictured are Steve Jacobs, Glenn Parrish, Dean Shuttleworth, and Owen Wallace. (Photo by Johnnie Daniels/The Dillon Herald)