Affiliation

The Free Methodist Church welcomes inquiries from independent congregations who wish the explore the benefits of affiliating.  Find an FM Church in the USA. Congregations established outside of Free Methodist sponsorship and wishing to become part of the denomination may enter as affiliate congregations. If your church is interested in affiliation, please email us for more information.

Authority to Recognize. A conference superintendent, with the concurrence of the conference administrative committee, may receive a congregation in an affiliate relationship when:1. the members of the congregation have received adequate orientation to the doctrine, organization, and mission of the Free Methodist Church;2. a document of affiliation has been signed by the governing board of the congregation, the superintendent, and representatives of the conference, affirming the Articles of Religion and the mission statement of the Free Methodist Church and describing mutual responsibilities; and3. the members have given public joint assent to the document of affiliation and questions for church membership.

Accountability and Responsibility. The pastor and board of the affiliate church shall meet periodically (at least twice a year) with the conference superintendent or designated liaison to review and strengthen the connectional relationship and shall participate in conference fellowship, mentoring and reporting procedures. The pastor and board shall consult with the ministerial appointments committee of the conference regarding any proposed changes in pastoral leadership during affiliate status.

Membership. An affiliate congregation may receive members in all relationships and report them in the same manner as societies.

Financial Matters.

1. An affiliate congregation is encouraged to contribute generously to conference and denominational ministries as the first step towards full participation in these responsibilities.

2. Staff members are eligible but not required to participate in the denominational pension program during affiliate status if an alternate retirement plan is already in effect.

3. An affiliate congregation which owns real property need not incorporate the trust clause of ¶6400.D into its deed until recognition as a society occurs. Denominational assistance for capital improvement shall be in the form of loans repayable if the church chooses not to become a Free Methodist society.

Local Organization. The governing board of an affiliate congregation shall be guided by the Book of Discipline and the mission of the Free Methodist Church in its decisions and the development of new ministries but may retain its existing bylaws until recognition as a society occurs.

Duration. The normal duration of this relationship shall not exceed three years from the adoption of the document of affiliation. At the end of this period the congregation would become a society, terminate the affiliate relationship or request the conference to grant an extension of time for clarification and development of denominational relationships.

Conference Relationship. An affiliated congregation shall be represented in the annual conference by an honorary delegate who shall have a voice but no vote. ‘,