Former Imlay City United Methodist now
affiliated with Global Methodist Church
IMLAY CITY — Visitors will notice a new sign out front and new doors at the historic bell tower, but they’ll be met with the same open arms to those who gather in faith and goodwill at Amazing Grace Church of Imlay City.
Formerly known as Imlay City United Methodist, Amazing Grace Church of Imlay City is now affiliated with the Global Methodist Church. The official change takes place on July 1, says longtime Pastor Dr. Marcel Lamb.
Amazing Grace joins a number of Thumb area churches choosing to separate from the United Methodist Church. While its been widely reported that the chasm involves LGBTQ+ issues and doctrine, Dr. Lamb says it’s not the main reason that Imlay City United Methodist Church chose to join the Global affiliation.
“Yes, the LGBTQ issues are one of the symptoms in the change of the way that the scripture is understood,” he says. “But the bigger reason is that we base our practice and beliefs out of a more traditional understanding of the holy scriptures.”
The historic, traditional approach to the scriptures is the main reason that Amazing Grace decided to disaffiliate with the UMC.
“This is no crusade, we just want to follow the Bible as we understood it and has been taught traditionally,” Lamb says. “It’s important to note that while we hold to a traditional view of marriage as between one man and one woman, we don’t bar anyone from attending. Everyone’s welcome.”
Though the name of the church will change, service times and leadership at Amazing Grace will remain the same. Lamb remains the lead pastor with Rev. Gary Bird serving as youth pastor.
There’s a new website—imlaycityamazinggrace.org, and a new email address—email@example.com in place right now.
While the rift with UMC and affiliated churches has garnered much attention, Lamb says his experience in the process has been without rancor. “We were treated exceptionally well by the bishop at the conference, he was nothing but gracious during the procedure,” Lamb says. “There was no acromony. It was beautiful.”
Still, change can difficult, but Lamb and church leaders are looking at the many benefits it can bring.
“One is that any time an institution has been around for very long it can get top heavy with bureaucracy, so with Global Methodist it’s like starting over. Some of the institutionally top heavy things are gone and the lessons learned can be put into place and we can do something else.”
Another plus is for a fee, local churches can own their own property, Lamb says, something that was not possible to do in the past.
Other unrelated changes include a new roof on the building, a fresh coat of paint for sancturary, and new doors now welcome all visitors at the historic entrance of the church.
Amongst the changes big and small, Lamb says visitors can expect the same atmosphere for worship and community.
“For the most part, the church will feel very familiar,” Lamb says. “The move to Global Methodist was born out of United Methodist and is still similar in many ways.”
He says he’s excited to embrace this new beginning, and anticipates a strong, faith-filled future for all.
“There will be a more focused accountability for pastors to adhere to the doctrines and disciplines of the Global Methodist Church,” Lamb says. “There is excitement around the possibilities that newness brings an opportunity to do new things.”
Amazing Grace Church of Imlay City is located at 210 North Almont Avenue. Call 810-724-0876 for more information.