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Next Steps Frequently Asked Questions
March 1, 2024




  • Appointive System: Collaborative conversation between the denominational leadership, Staff Parish Relations Committee (SPRC), and individual pastors to identify the best candidate to lead the church. The local church is not solely responsible for finding and hiring the pastor. Under the appointive system once the candidate is placed, an accountable structure is put in place.

  • Apportionments/Connectional Funding: Each local church contributes financially to the ministry of the Church beyond the local church level. The local church pays a percentage of its operating income to the denomination with a ceiling cap.

  • Trust Clause: Many denominations have trust clauses that state that a church’s assets belong to the denomination. Holding property in trust the “holder” (the local church) is required to use the property exclusively for the purposes of and to benefit the Church. It also means that if, at any point, it becomes clear the holder can no longer or chooses no longer to function as part of the Church, it forfeits all rights to continue to hold the property, and the property itself and all other assets transfer to the denomination. With disaffiliation behind us, Mount Pisgah Church now owns all of our assets and property.



General FAQ’s

What is the governing structure of Mount Pisgah?

  • The decision-making body of the church is the Church Council, which is comprised of elected members through the Nominations Committee. The nominations to the Nominations Committee are submitted by the staff Leadership Team, Chairs and other members of existing committees, and members of the congregation. The council includes the pastoral staff, the Lay Leader(s), Recording Secretary, Chairs of the Staff Parish Relations Committee, Board of Trustees, Finance, and Nominations. It also includes all chairs and staff representatives of all program ministry committees.  Members of the Church Council can be found on the Mount Pisgah website:

  • The Executive Committee is also a part of the Church Council and acts as an advisory board, with no decision-making authority, to the Church Council. It is comprised of Chairs of the Staff Parish Relations Committee, Board of Trustees, Finance, Nominations, and Church Council. It also includes members of the pastoral staff, the church COO, and church lay leaders.

  • Recommendations can be made by other committees, but only the Church Council has the authority to approve recommendations and/or requests regarding the overall operation of the local church.


Has there been any consideration to having an Elder Board?

  • No. During the interim period the decision was made to continue operating similar to the current structure. If the Church Council decides to have an Elder Board, that can be considered at the appropriate time.


Can we make recommendations to Church Council committees regarding their make-up to include younger voices?

  • If someone would like to serve on one of the Mount Pisgah committees in the future, now is the time to submit names for consideration for the next nominating cycle in the fall. Send recommendations to Sarah Cisco at


Who is a member of Mount Pisgah Church?

  • Everyone currently on the church database roster as a “member” is considered a member of Mount Pisgah Church. When Mount Pisgah UMC disaffiliated and became an independent church, Mount Pisgah Church, the membership on the current roster remained with the church. At a future point, a process will be established to scrub the current roster, which will include correspondence asking people if they wish to be removed from the roster or prefer to remain. Anyone interested in joining or learning more about membership can contact Rev. Mike Broome –


Is there going to be a Charter Membership and how will that be handled?

  • No. Every membership is held at the local church level. Since a Charter Member of an organization is an original member, this means that everyone listed as a member on the Mount Pisgah UMC roster at the time of disaffiliation, is automatically transferred to the Mount Pisgah Church roster as a member.


How can the By-laws and Statement of Faith be amended? 

  • The By-laws and Statement of Faith were drafted to ensure Mount Pisgah could function as an independent church effective December 1. They have been enacted on an interim basis while we, as a congregation, discern our next steps as a church body. The results of the church-wide vote on whether Mount Pisgah remains an independent church or we join another denomination will ultimately determine how the By-laws are written. Until that time, we do not anticipate any changes will need to be made. However, if we find the need to amend either the By-laws or Statement of Faith, it will require a 2/3 vote by the Church Council members in attendance at a Church Council meeting. A process will be established by the Church Council for making possible future changes to the Bylaws or Statement of Faith and will be made available when it has been finalized.


Are we moving too fast?

  • We have been in a period of prayer and discernment.  We are an independent church now and, of course, that is one option going forward. Likewise, if we feel led to join the Global Methodist Church, there are advantages to doing so sooner rather than later. We are all in agreement that patience and careful evaluation of the steps forward are a necessity. We need not rush, or lag, in our discerning process of following God. We understand that some people may feel rushed at the moment, while others may feel we’re lagging, but that is not the intent of the leadership. The task forces began their work months before they could publicly share an update because of the tedious nature and restrictions leading to the ratification vote by the Annual Conference.


Where can I find the names of those who serve on the Church Council and Task Forces?

  • Both the Church Council members for 2024 and the members of the various task forces are listed on the Mount Pisgah Church web site under the Church Council Update webpage. To make it easier for you to find, the link is:


How can we share feedback?


Where can we receive updates about the process?

  • The best place to see updates and progress is the Mount Pisgah website – Church Council Update page. Attending the scheduled educational meetings and/or inquire via e-mail to are also ways to receive updates.


Next Steps Task Force - FAQ's

Who approved the options of remaining an independent church or joining the Global Methodist Church (GMC)?

  • The findings of the Next Steps Task Force were presented to the Church Council on February 1, 2024. Following the presentation, the Church Council approved the options as well as the opportunity to conduct Educational Meetings to ensure that members of the congregation were fully informed of the FACTS for remaining independent or joining the GMC. Below are the FAQ’s broken into the two specific options: Remaining an Independent Church and Joining the Global Methodist Church.


Will Mount Pisgah change when the decision is made to remain independent or join the Global Methodist Church (GMC)?

  • During the disaffiliation discernment period, we consistently communicated that Mount Pisgah will not change and that we will continue to be the church we are with the same vision, values, mission, and commitment to making disciples for Jesus Christ. We will continue to adhere to the authority of Biblical scripture.  

  • Now that Mount Pisgah has disaffiliated, we are currently an independent church with conservative Wesleyan theological beliefs. As we reflect on the church’s history and heritage, Mount Pisgah has been a Methodist church for almost 200 years, (read more about what it means to be a Methodist), and while it is true our past is not necessarily predictive of what our future path will be, the Church Leadership felt it best to affirm the principles of conservative Wesleyan theology that we hold dear, (i.e. the Apostle’s Creed and our Statement of Faith), while we embark on discerning our way forward because these beliefs and practices have formed what Mount Pisgah stands for to those who attend. 


Who can vote regarding the future of Mount Pisgah?

  • At the time of the vote, only people listed as members on the Mount Pisgah roster will be able to vote. 


When will the church membership vote be held and what is the process?

  • On February 29, 2024, the Church Council approved the date/time of April 14, 2024, at 12:45 PM for the in-person Mount Pisgah Church membership vote. The process will be similar to that used for the Disaffiliation vote in that members will need to register their attendance upon arrival in order to receive their ballot. Tables will be set up alphabetically in the Gathering Area between 12:15 – 12:45 PM. No ballots will be given after 12:45 PM. We understand that circumstances may not allow everyone to attend and have arranged Early Voting on Wednesday, April 10, 2024, from 2:00 – 6:00 PM in the church administrative offices. Details will be communicated in the coming weeks, or you can contact Sarah Cisco at


Will a recommendation be made by the Task Force or Leadership telling us how to vote?

  • No. Information will be provided, and each person will make their own decision.


Will there be more educational meetings?

  • We want a fully informed congregation ready to take a vote at the appropriate time. When that time is determined, members of the church will come together to decide on whether we remain independent or join a denomination. Currently, congregation-wide meetings are scheduled for March 3 at 12:15 PM and March 7th at 6:30 PM.



Remaining Independent

Is Mount Pisgah Church going to be a Methodist Church?

  • We are currently an independent church grounded by conservative Wesleyan theology.  If the congregation votes to remain independent, we will continue as we currently are. If the congregation votes to join the Global Methodist Church (GMC), we will be a Methodist church.


If we remain independent, can a GMC pastor be hired?

  • Yes, a GMC pastor can be hired, which means our current pastoral staff can remain. There are no guaranteed appointments with the GMC, so pastors must be allowed to pastor the church where they feel God has led them.

If we remain independent, can we join GMC later?

  • Yes.  The GMC is still in the formative stages so there will be opportunities to be a part of that formation.


If we remain independent, will we have our own written policies (i.e., Book of Discipline)?

  • Yes. Currently our beliefs and policies are reflected in the Statement of Faith and the By-Laws, which may be revised in the future.


What is the scriptural foundation for an independent church?

  • The history of non-denominational or independent churches dates to the 18th century with a movement known as the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement. This was a movement that sought to remove many of the labels that identified and separated different Christian groups and sought to identify Christians as they were identified in the first century church. The basis for this movement is in the fact that God does not see denominations. You are either a believer or an unbeliever, saved or unsaved. You either belong to him or you don’t. In the book of Acts, they were originally called followers of the Way, and eventually they were called Christians in Antioch. The non-denominational/independent movement’s goal was to encourage people to identify more with the Bible than with their denomination. As it has progressed over the years, people have again gathered around doctrinal differences and opinions as independent churches are formed. Most independent churches have some form of dominational doctrine.


How will the ordination process be handled?

  • Ordination requirements have been a part of church history for centuries. If we remain an independent church, a process/system for ordination will need to be developed. If we join an association, they may already have a structure that we can adopt. Ordination in the GMC requires 6 education courses for a Deacon, 4 additional courses for an Elder and approval by the Board of Ordained Ministry for the applicable annual conference.  This process is outlined in P407 of GMC book of Doctrines and Discipline.


If we stay independent, how can we keep a fellowship with other like-minded congregations?

  • There are opportunities to affiliate with organizations which provide senior pastors and church staff with the chance to meet periodically and compare best practices.



Global Methodist Church

Is there a Trust Clause with the Global Methodist Church?

  • No. GMC does not have a Trust Clause.


Would we have financial obligations to GMC if we become a GMC church?

  • Yes. Each local church of the Global Methodist Church contributes financially to the ministry of the Church beyond the local church through connectional funding. Currently, the Transitional Leadership Council has set General Conference connectional funding at 1% with a cap set at 1.5%. There is also an annual conference connectional funding set at 1% of operational income. Once a provisional annual conference is formed in an area, the provisional annual conference will determine the percentage of operating income that is to be paid as annual conference connectional funding. However, the percentage cannot exceed the 5% ceiling unless 2/3 of the provisional annual conference delegates vote to raise the ceiling.

    • North Ga. GMC has set the connectional funding for the provisional annual conference at 1% for a total of 2% when added to the General Conference funding.


Since our pastors have transferred their credentials to the Global Methodist Church (GMC), does that mean we’re a GMC church? 

  • No. We are not a Global Methodist Church. Our formerly appointed pastors from the UMC (Pastor Steve, Pastor Mike, Pastor Jorge) had the option to either completely surrender their UMC credentials or transfer them. They made the decision to transfer them to GMC who will allow incoming pastors to serve independent non-GMC churches.


What are the benefits to joining the GMC?

  • By virtue of joining the GMC, we gain the benefits of an existing governance structure through the Book of Doctrine and Discipline; Fellowship and connection throughout the world with others of like mind and theology; Sharing of ordination criteria; Training programs/materials to assist in growth of the local church; Sharing of best practices; Assistance in finding new pastors; Mission opportunity choices with or without other churches; Local churches have ownership of their property and assets; Ability to leave at no cost after a 90-day discernment period.


Who can administer the sacraments (communion and baptisms)?

  • Most denominational churches, including Presbyterian, Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Christian Reformed, as well as many Methodist and Baptist expressions, require ordination as a requirement for administering sacraments. Most Christian expressions, including non-denominational and independent, agree that there should be requirements and a process regarding who can administer sacraments. However, there are no specific scriptures referenced in any of these Christian expressions of faith for the ordination requirement. Currently at Mount Pisgah, only ordained clergy can administer the sacraments. We recognized the transfer of our ordained pastors’ credentials to the GMC which allows them to administer the sacraments under the sacramental authority of the GMC.


What is the function of the bishops in GMC?

  • The role of the bishops is more to provide spiritual support for churches and pastors and to ensure churches and pastors adhere to the doctrine and theology of the GMC. Currently there are two bishops in the GMC. In addition to the bishops, there are Presiding Elders who oversee each conference and 11 Connectional Elders who oversee churches based on the county in which they serve. This information is on the GMC website:


What guarantee is there that the bishops won’t take a different path at some point?

  • Episcopal leadership in the Global Methodist Church shares with all other ordained persons in the sacred trust of their ordination. The ministry of bishops as set forth in the Transitional Book of Doctrines and Discipline also flows from the Scriptures. Whenever a bishop violates this trust or is unable to fulfill appropriate responsibilities, continuation in the episcopal office shall be subject to review. This review shall have as its primary purpose a just resolution of any violations of this sacred trust, in the hope that God’s work of justice, reconciliation, and healing may be realized. Bishops will only serve for defined term limits. Once they serve their terms, they will either return to ministry in a local church or to some other area of service in the general church.


If we join the GMC, how difficult is it to leave? 

  • The GMC has a remarkably simple "walk away" clause which allows congregations to leave with 90-day notice and a simple majority vote (more than half of the ballots cast) by the congregation.



SPRC Search Task Force - FAQ's

What is the status of the current pastors?

  • Mike, Jorge, and Ricky will remain as part of our pastoral staff. There are no changes in the pastoral staff and none anticipated other than the search for the new Sr. Pastor. All have agreed to remain serving at MPC. The only change is where their ordination credentials are held. 


When is Pastor Steve retiring?

  • Pastor Steve has indicated that he intends to retire as of March 31, 2024. As we continue through this discernment process, he will continue as Mount Pisgah’s Senior Pastor through his intended retirement date.


Who will be our Sr. Pastor between the time of Pastor Steve’s retirement and the arrival of the new pastor?

  • If a new pastor has not been hired by March 31, 2024, an interim plan has been established by the Staff Leadership Team and the SPRC that allows for the Staff Leadership Team to continue operating, both administratively and spirituality, in an efficient and smooth manner.


How can we hire a pastor before the decision has been made to remain independent or join the GMC?

  • The Shepherd Staff (TSS) has advised that it will not be difficult to find someone who is able to pastor well regardless of whether we join a denomination or remain independent. Though our history is Methodist, that does not mean we will necessarily join another Methodist denomination, but it does not rule out the possibility. Our theology is conservative grounded in the belief in the authority of scripture, covenant discipleship, and that everyone is offered salvation through Jesus Christ alone. A pastor who desires to lead according to the gospels would be considered if TSS believes them to be a viable candidate. For someone who has a true discipleship heart and wants to make disciples here, there, everywhere, Mount Pisgah Church is a very desirable church. The profile can be seen on The Shepherd Staff website:


Are we limiting our candidate pool by joining GMC?

  • Candidates applying for the Sr. Pastor position are aware of Mount Pisgah’s current situation as we discern whether to remain an independent church or join GMC. If we recommend someone who is not currently a GMC pastor, the process to transfer their credentials and/or be ordained in the GMC is outlined in P407 of GMC book of Doctrines and Discipline.


What sort of person are we looking for?

  • We have put together a pastor profile based on prior feedback from the congregation and input from information gathered by The Shepherd Staff during a discovery visit in September. The profile can be seen on The Shepherd Staff website:


Who can apply for the position?

  • Anyone can apply for the position and will need to go directly through The Shepherd Staff. The profile and application process are already posted on their website.


How will the new pastor be selected?

  • The Staff Parish Relations Committee (SPRC) has been in a period of prayer and discernment on how to proceed in the process of hiring a new lead pastor since Pastor Steve presented his retirement window a couple of years ago. At this point, there is not a hard and fast timeline. The priority is to ensure we hire the best pastor, the one whom we feel God has called, to lead us into the next chapters of our ministries. An SPRC Task Force was formed to assist in this process and is working with the search firm The Shepherd Staff (TSS). Members from TSS were here in September and met with several church stakeholder groups to gain insight. TSS will conduct the initial vetting of candidates and will send the most viable candidates to the SPRC Task Force for additional interviews. The SPRC Task Force will conduct interviews and send 2-3 candidates to the SPRC for further interviews and hopefully extend an offer. The SPRC will present their recommendation to Church Council for approval.


How will the Sr. Pastor be held accountable?

  • Currently, as an independent church, the Sr. Pastor is held accountable by the Staff Parish Relations Committee and the Church Council, along with the Statement of Faith and By-laws. If we join GMC, GMC will work in collaboration with the local church to step in and take steps, including removal, if necessary, to ensure the pastor does not begin a movement to lead the church down a different path.


If we join GMC, will the Bishop decide who the new pastor is?

  • The appointment system is a collaborative approach among the conference, the individual pastors, and the local churches. A slate of available pastors is presented to the local church for their input and choice of who to interview. Although it is a collaborative approach, the conference and Bishop will need to approve any assignment to the local church, but they will not make a decision that is not in the best interest for the church nor one that the church is not in agreement with.


Will the new pastor be involved and concerned with Mount Pisgah in Spanish?

  • Yes. Someone with a track record of building cultural diversity and support of the MPIS ministry are absolutes and are primary characteristics in the pastor profile. Whether Mount Pisgah decides to remain independent or join GMC, we are still a large church with a large Hispanic congregation which will continue to grow and thrive. German Betancourt is a member of the SPRC Search Task Force and Vicky Holway is a member of the Next Steps Task Force and represent the Mount Pisgah in Spanish congregation. 


Is there anyone on the search committee representing students?

  • Yes.  Careful consideration was given to include members of the congregation that represent and support different ministry areas, including a mix of 9:30 and 11:00 congregations, Mount Pisgah in Spanish, Family Life (student/children’s/parents/nursery ministries), Atlanta Indian Prayer Fellowship, our senior ministry, and the Mount Pisgah staff.

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