Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

A message from Bishop Nunn


Greetings in the name of Christ.

I am hopeful, and I am sad.

I am excited, and I am disappointed.

I invite you to join me in prayer, and that is why I am reaching out to you today.

These are times of great momentum and regeneration of the United Methodist Church, especially in the Oklahoma Conference.

In the aftermath of two waves of disaffiliations based on Paragraph 2553 in our Book of Discipline, we’ve lost valued members of our church. But it has also offered opportunities of extreme growth in a lot of our churches as United Methodists and people from our communities are welcomed with open arms and a healing word.

We have also started two brand new churches – Ceili Community in southwest Oklahoma City and Grace UMC in Claremore.

Meanwhile, our conference office of mission has facilitated teams to New Mexico, Kentucky, Israel and Palestine, Tanzania, Kenya, Belize, Honduras, Guatemala and Rio Bravo, Mexico.

These church starts and missions are just a small part of the amazing momentum we have in our conference right now. We push on. We continue to work to offer a church home to every community in our conference. With those communities, we make the world a better place, both in our local mission field and abroad.

We do that work together, based on the amazing connection and support we share as United Methodists.

The Oklahoma Conference is about making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. That will always be our focus – in good times and troubling times.

I celebrate all this great success with you, even as we navigate difficult paths.

When I last wrote to you on June 2, I shared the information about the lawsuit filed by First United Methodist Church of Oklahoma City (First UMC) against the Oklahoma Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church and its Board of Trustees, Heartland District Superintendent Victor McCullough and me.

On Monday, July 3, Church of the Servant filed a lawsuit against the Oklahoma Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church and its Board of Trustees, Crossroads District Superintendent Sam Powers and me.

As I have said before, there is a lot at stake when it comes to disaffiliation and, because of that, we have been diligent in following the process that has been set forth to ensure fairness to everyone involved. The process is often not popular, but it is necessary. Because we are confident that we have been consistent in following this process, we believe strongly that both lawsuits are legally unfounded.

But that will all be decided in the coming days, weeks or months.

Today, I am asking for you to join me in prayer.

I pray for wisdom – for lawyers on both sides of the cases, for the judges and other court officials.

I pray for patience – for all of us as we work with the inevitable human emotions of litigation.

I pray for peace of mind – for everyone involved and for all United Methodists in our conference – that we understand this is just one of many disagreements in good faith over interpretation of church polity in the last two millennia.

I pray for the joys of the fruits of the Spirit for Rev. Josue Araujo, the new senior pastor at First UMC, the entire First UMC congregation at our downtown community, as well as the new Senior Co-Pastors at Church of the Servant, Rev. Jessica Moffat and Rev. Dr. Tom Hoffman and the entire Church of the Servant congregation.

Finally, I pray for discernment for the leaders of our conference, our churches, our courts and our government. I pray that the Spirit guides all of us to righteous paths.

We are not happy that this disagreement on the interpretation of the disaffiliation agreement has reached the Oklahoma County Court system, but I am thankful in all things. And, I am thankful that God’s grace reaches to ALL of us even during our human conflicts and disagreements. I find peace in the knowledge that Christ lives, and we are redeemed, no matter what.

So even though this is a difficult time here in Oklahoma amid a difficult era for our denomination worldwide, I am grateful that the power of Christ and His victory is the most important thing.

My confidence in our church is unwavering, which makes me hopeful and excited about the future in the midst of turmoil. The evidence of my confidence is in our new church starts, established church growth and congregations that reach all the edges of the world.

I rest comfortably with that unmistakable momentum. I encourage you to share my comfort.

As I said in my closing remarks at our annual conference in May:

“The church will not be overcome, because the church is grounded in the very nature of God.”


May God bless and keep you,

Bishop James “Jimmy” Nunn


Making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World

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1501 N.W. 24th St.
Oklahoma City, OK 73106-3635
Phone: 405-530-2000

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