Disaffiliation Update Jan. 11


Dear Mississippi Annual Conference,

I've been your resident bishop for approximately one week and I’m excited to be here with you all. I want to thank the cabinet, the conference staff, the clergy and laity for welcoming me to the Magnolia State. In the climate of Methodism, I know that our concerns rest with our faith communities, clergy and laity that are disaffiliating from The United Methodist Church. As your new resident bishop, my desire is for everyone to remain in the Wesleyan family. However, I do understand that for several reasons faith communities, clergy and laity are desiring to leave. The Bible records in Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV, "To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven."

Therefore, I believe that after a faith community, clergyperson or laity discerns another pathway, they must follow it and be obedient to our Lord and Savior. I affirm the Mississippi Conference’s established, collaborative and prudent disaffiliation process that is in compliance with The Book of Discipline and upheld by our cabinet and conference trustees. I want to reiterate as your resident bishop, it is my intent to be faithful to uphold The Book of Discipline as I was consecrated as a bishop in 2016.

I want to thank the cabinet, conference trustees, Mr. David Stotts and the conference treasurer's office for their work in making sure our faith communities, clergy and laity are knowledgeable of our disaffiliation process. There are two gatherings scheduled to process disaffiliations in the Mississippi Annual Conference--one will occur June 28, 2023 during our regular session of annual conference, and the other will take place December 9, 2023 at a called session of annual conference. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your district superintendent or Mr. David Stotts at dstotts@mississippi-umc.org. Let us continue to pray for our faith communities, clergy, laity and our United Methodist denomination.

Peace and blessings,

Bishop Sharma D. Lewis
Resident Bishop of the Mississippi Annual Conference

"Like" Bishop Lewis on Facebook at Bishop Sharma D. Lewis.

320 Briarwood Drive
Jackson, MS 39206
or use our contact form
Sign up now
The Mississippi Annual Conference—empowered by love, generosity, justice and apprenticeship—forms spiritual leaders, faith communities and connections so more disciples of Jesus Christ transform the world.