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Like many other churches in North Alabama, the leadership of Sylacauga First chose to enter a period of discernment regarding what and who God is calling our church to be. The information provided below offers general information regarding the process that was used in Sylacauga First's discernment journey.

Congregational Survey

The Discernment Team would like to know your thoughts.

Anonymous Survey - How to keep members and How to do no harm

Discernment Team

The discernment team members are listed here:

Jerry Fielding                                         Bonita Powell                                      

Tonya Henderson                                   Raymond Styres

Lynn Hodges                                          Carla Taylor

Beckham Jones                                       Crystal Walker

Dee Dee Mathews

Please thank the discernment team for their hard work and time.

Contact Information

If you have questions, comments, or input you may contact any member of the discernment team, or you may email the team at If you would like to submit questions, comments, or input anonymously, click here:

Guest Speakers

On Friday, February 17th, the Discernment Team hosted two guest speakers: Rev. John Hill offered a presentation representing the Global Methodist Church, and Rev. Dr. Steve West offered a presentation representing the United Methodist Church. If you missed the speakers, you may watch the event on the live stream both here and on the Facebook page.

Video Information

On Wednesday, February 1st, we viewed video #2 (Our Differences Regarding the Bible) & video #5 (Why it’s Time for Traditionalists to Leave) from Rob Renfroe, as well as the rebuttal videos (Love of Scripture & A Future with Hope) from Adam Hamilton. If you missed this session and would like to see the videos, you can search for them on the internet. The viewing of these videos is not intended to change anyone’s mind or incite frustration. The intent is to offer alternate viewpoints that might otherwise go unheard if we fail to venture beyond our typical circles of influence and information.


Paragraph 2553

2019 General Conference Homosexuality

Update 1/29

Questions & Answers 1 (1/29)

Questions & Answers 2 

Questions & Answers 3



Position Paper on Human Sexuality 1:  Rev. Dale Cohen, used by permission

Position Paper on Human Sexuality 2: Rev. Dale Cohen, used by permission

Position Paper on Human Sexuality 3: Rev. Dale Cohen, used by permission

Jan. 29 Congregation Update Mentimeter poll results

How would you describe Sylacauga First UMC?

Poll slide 1_edited.jpg

Where are we?

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Which best describes you?

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Discernment Journey Result:

The Administrative Board met Monday, February 20, 2023.  The discernment team presented to the board the following recommendation:


The discernment team recommends to the administrative board that Sylacauga First United Methodist Church proceed with the scheduled church conference which is set for March 9, 2023, at 6:00 pm, so that all church members may have a voice.

A motion was made to accept this recommendation. A majority vote to accept the motion was not reached; therefore, the motion did not pass.


At this time, there will be no congregational vote to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church using paragraph 2553.

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