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.