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Punished Pastor's Congregation Votes To Leave UMC To Form New Church...More To Follow

From: Edward F. Ezaki eezaki@lightspeed.net
To: John Warrener (E-mail) jwarrene@surfsouth.com
Date: Thursday, June 08, 2000 12:24 PM
Subject: General Conference Fallout

Hi, John,

I just got off the phone with Kyle Phillips of Tehachapi Valley UMC. Last night, the church had a special meeting at which all but about 20 of the 200 member church decided to leave the United Methodist Church. They will form a new church called Grace Fellowship of Tehachapi and will begin meeting on Sunday evenings at the Nazarene Church until they can lease new facilities. You might remember that Kyle is one of "the 6" who urged withholding apportionments to protest Bishop Talbert's defiance of the Discipline. Kyle was singled out for a punitive new appointment without consultation with him, his church, or the new appointment (a dying church of 60 or so). Please pray for Kyle and his new church as they grow.

I keep you updated on these events so as to emphasize that, despite the evangelical euphoria following GC2000 in some parts of the country, the Cal-Nevada Annual Conference is still a very dangerous place for biblical Christians. I have had a half dozen calls now asking for advice on "how to organize a new church." I believe that others are planning to follow in the next six months in response to Talbert's "scorched earth tactics leading up to his retirement." Unfortunately, there is nothing that evangelicals throughout the country can do to prevent this.

On the good side, we have a growing association of ex-UMC churches out here, and the fellowship and growth is a wonderful gift of God.


Ed Ezaki

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