Item 1: Purpose of the Merger
The purpose of merging Rock Hall Methodist Church and Wesley Chapel of Rock Hall is to present a unified body to the community, strengthen our ministries, foster new opportunities, and serve the Lord's work more effectively. As a united church we will work collaboratively to fulfill the mission of worshiping God, loving each other, and drawing the unchurched to God's love and forgiveness by blending the gifts, talents, and resources God has given each church. This will ensure our participation as a Christian witness in our community for years to come.
Our scriptural foundation, Ephesians 4:41, emphasizes unity, aligning with our aim to consolidate as one body for greater service.
“There is one body of believers and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope when called to salvation.”
Item 2: Naming
After discussion, discernment, and ballot voting, the chosen name for the merged church is Rock Hall Wesley Church. This name extends our presence as a faithful part of the Rock Hall community.
Item 3: Leadership Structure
The new church's leadership board will consist of eight (8) members total, equally representing each church, serving as Trustees, Finance, and SPRC. The nominating committee will be equally represented by both churches.
In situations where a motion before the Board cannot be agreed upon by a majority of those present, the motion will be decided by vote of all active church members at a duly called church conference.
Item 4: Implementation Plan
a. Worship and Facility Use:
- Worship “style,” as is currently practiced in each church, will be blended into one corporate worship service until additional worship services are needed or appropriate.
- Both church buildings will be maintained and utilized as alternate worship venues throughout 2024.
- Future worship locations will be decided upon after a year of discernment and congregational input, as we transition to a single weekly worship site.
- Prior to and following the merger vote, we will launch an emphasis on prayer for our new unified church and God’s mission in the Rock Hall Community.
b. Additional Properties:
- All decisions regarding church property will be subject to a church vote and overseen by the Leadership Board as the Trustees of the church.
It is understood that Wesley Chapel Cemetery, Inc owns the financial assets of the cemetery, while the real assets of the cemetery continue to be owned by the Wesley Chapel and will become the property of the new church until it is separated by deed.
Item 5: Merger Process
a. Formation Phase (Months 1-3):
- Approve the Merger Agreement by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of members of each congregation. (This vote will be taken after a combined worship service on January 28th.)
- Establish Transition Teams for property evaluation, legal and financial documentation filing and recording, and leadership changes, based on vision retreat outcomes from 2019.
- Initiate communication and information sharing with the congregations.
- Develop a plan for integrating key ministry and administrative areas of the churches.
b. Integration Phase (Months 4-12):
- Comprehensive ministry integration and planning.
- Begin process of integrating key ministry and administrative areas.
- Legal transition of assets to the new church.
c. Implementation Phase (Months 13 and beyond):
- Official launch of the new church.
- Continuous monitoring and refinement of integration processes.
- Establish mechanisms for feedback and continuous improvement.
Item 6: Conclusion
The merger of Rock Hall Methodist Church and Wesley Chapel of Rock Hall into Rock Hall Wesley Church represents a commitment to a more impactful and unified approach to worship, ministry, and community service. This proposal seeks to keep Christ as our focus while honoring some of our traditions and addressing the future needs of our congregations and community.
We propose the adoption of this merger proposal and begin the work required to establish ourselves as a new Global Methodist Church under the name Rock Hall Wesley Church.