What is this and why is it so hard to find these pictures on the Internet

VA Conference UMC

This is the headquarters of the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church at 700 Waterfield Ridge Pl, Garner, NC. You won’t find these pictures doing a casual search on the internet. I suspect this because they don’t really want you to know what your tithes are paying for.

VA Conference UMC

This is just one example of one conference. The Virginia Conference of the UMC is even a bit more opulent. These expensive overhead operations don’t end with these buildings. Bishops are living in million dollar parsonages or receiving housing allowances to support this lifestyle.

For instance, the NCCUMC issued a report last year that it is looking to sell the 900K plus parsonage occupied by Bishop Hope Morgan Ward and replace it with a housing allowance. This is a good move from a costs savings approach, but only so long as they replace it with a housing allowance that is in keeping with average of pastors her conference. Jesus asked his disciples to sell everything, leave it all behind and follow him. I don’t think bishops should live in poverty, but living above the pastors in their conference is not what congregations expect either.

The Wesleyan Covenant Association which represents traditionalist, has advocated against this opulence. If we are truly invested in making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, we need to devote more time, money and effort to that task and less money to the overhead of a bureaucracy made up of multilayered leadership focused on business entities.

  3 comments for “What is this and why is it so hard to find these pictures on the Internet

  1. Brian Pettet
    January 18, 2020 at 8:20 am

    My rule of thumb: Never trust a wealthy pastor, law enforcement officer, or politician!


    • January 18, 2020 at 9:15 am

      I feel it’s important for members of UMC congregations to know that this opulent lifestyle doesn’t just happen in big mega churches. This is happening in the UMC. As an act of accountability, conferences should post pictures of their parsonages provided to bishops alone with pictures of their offices and buildings. A small rural church trying to meet 100% apportionments, should know exactly what they are paying for.


  2. Mark Johnson
    January 18, 2020 at 9:39 am

    It would probably be less expensive for the UMC if the church simply got rid of the extravagances presently on the books, bought 400 acres of farmland in NC, and built a new headquarters. They could call it Opulence, NC. The conference could allow our leaders a stipend of say $1,000 per month each for housing, but still, at least they would be living in Opulence.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: