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First United Methodist Church of Punta Gorda, Florida announces separation from the Florida Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

Punta Gorda, Fla. — June 8, 2022 — 1st United Methodist Church of Punta Gorda, located at 507 W. Marion Avenuein Punta Gorda, announced its plans to leave the United Methodist Church and form a new church, New Life in Christ, at its present location.

The announcement, made by Senior Pastor, Rev. Mike Loomis, follows a May 1, 2022, vote of the congregation as called by the District Superintendent of the Florida Annual Conference, with a 95% majority voting to disaffiliate. Loomis cited the compelling reasons for the United Methodist Church separation as the desire to be faithful to the Lord Jesus and his teachings, along with fidelity to the tested tradition of nearly 2,000 years of belief and practice.

Loomis affirmed that New Life in Christ, a non-denominational church that has already been incorporated in the state of Florida, will continue to extend the invitation of God’s grace to all people and follow the faith and practices rooted in the Wesleyan/Methodist tradition.

Along with local counsel, 1st United Methodist Church of Punta Gorda retained attorney Dan Dalton of national religious property law firm Dalton+Tomich to represent the church’s legal interests. Dalton’s areas of specialty include religious land use and denominational separations.

Included in the plans of the disaffiliation from the denomination is the intent that 1st United Methodist Church of Punta Gorda will retain its current building and property and assume current and future debts, expenses and maintenance costs. The process should be completed after the June 2022 Florida Annual Conference votes to approve the disaffiliation.

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Established in 2010, Dalton + Tomich PLC is comprised of religious liberty, land use, denominational trust law, and business law attorneys. Learn more about our services at https://www.daltontomich.com/.


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