What We Believe. How We Do Church. Bylaws. Biblically Guided Positions.

John Wesley Methodist Church has officially finalized the documents for our bylaws, biblically guided social stances, doctrine, and governance. These documents can be viewed and/or downloaded on our website on the What We Believe page under About Us. Our doctrine has not changed since disaffiliation, nor will it ever change, because our doctrine is unchangeable since it is rooted in being a Wesleyan Methodist Church. The documents for our governance structure have been refined to reflect the official bylaws we have filed for JWMC. These documents are similar in content to those shared last Fall and at our January Ministry Leadership Retreat with minimal revisions. I want to use this post to share information about these important documents you can now view on the website.

Our Biblically Guided Positions on Current Social Issues have reached a final draft reflecting the traditional stances of our church. Your Core Leadership Team (CLT) understands that the biblical accountability to some of these issues is a significant reason for disaffiliating with the UMC. JWMC will conduct itself, teach and uphold the positions on the issues. For copyright reasons, the exact wording of our positions cannot be identical to the UMC Book of Discipline. With the help of other resources and the CLT, I have crafted a set of biblically based summaries that reflect our traditional and grace-filled positions. There have been no contextual changes to our positions. If anyone would like to discuss these social stances more thoroughly, your pastors are available for discussion.

A team of lay-members, staff, pastors, and our lawyer has painstakingly created our Bylaws. Our current Treasurer and a charter member of the church, Jill Oliver has spent hours helping finalizing everything necessary in the bylaws. Please thank her when you see her. The Bylaws are legal documents that help us operate as a tax-exempt entity. The new Bylaws contain all the legal standards needed for a self-governing congregation. You can see the final draft of the Bylaws HERE. The CLT will bring the signed bylaws before the church body on May 21 at our inaugural Church Conference.

Our Doctrine (What We Believe) has been formatted for your viewing pleasure. I encourage you to download this document, keep the link saved or keep it in your Bible. Your Wesleyan Methodist doctrine is essential to how you follow Jesus Christ and what we believe as a church. Our doctrine is the same as all other Methodist churches and has not been altered from the UMC doctrine. Our doctrine is unchangeable because it is the foundation of our Christian beliefs.

The Core Leadership Team uniquely crafted our Governance (How We Do Church) document for John Wesley Methodist Church. I have been working with the CLT for six to seven months to create a new structure of governing our church, which fits closely to the previous 50 years. The How We Do Church document contains all the significant committees/teams that help guide and lead our church. The document explains the Church Conference, similar to our old Charge Conference. JWMC's calendar year for serving on a team will run from July 1 to June 30. We will still use a fiscal year for our ministry budget. When someone wants to know how we do church or how does your church operate? You can reference the How We Do Church document for the answer. Not every team that serves this great church is listed in the paper. The CLT has the authority to establish any team necessary to support the mission and ministry of the church.

The transition to becoming a self-governing Wesleyan Methodist church has taken another giant leap forward in finalizing these documents. One reaction and question of some people is, "Are these all the documents we need to be John Wesley Methodist Church?" The answer is yes! We need only these documents to remain a biblically grounded Wesleyan Methodist Church. We do not need a large book similar to the UMC Book of Discipline. A book or set of documents like that is not helpful to a self-governing church. The documents supplied will guide our present and future successes.

I and the chair of the CLT, Scott Chenoweth, are taking nominations for the CLT term from July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024. We are following up on all the nominations and will present this group to the CLT at the April meeting. After the CLT selects the final class/slate, we will make those names and bios available to the church. You will then have a chance to vote on the 2023 candidates at our Church Conference on May 21.

SAVE THE DATE: Please save the date and time for our Church Conference on May 21 at 5:00 p.m. We want the entire church to gather to celebrate what God is doing and has done at JWMC. We will meet in the Sanctuary for worship, business, confirmation, celebration, and more. Please register here! I am so excited about this new season at John Wesley and pray you are too.

Our church has been through a lot in the past six months. But, I believe God has been fully present and guiding us through this time. It is incredible to think we grew in our worship attendance these past three months over last year's numbers. And continue to receive new members by profession of faith and transfer. To God be the Glory!!!

In Christ,

Rev. Dr. Marty Dunbar
Senior Pastor