5 things to know about the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodists

The North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church is meeting this weekend in Athens. The meeting comes after hundreds of churches have left the denomination, largely over full inclusion of the LGBTQ community. Overall, the Protestant denomination lost a quarter of its U.S. churches.


The United Methodist Church has two annual conferences in Georgia. They are the North Georgia Conference, which covers an area north of Macon, and the South Georgia Conference, which covers the area south of Macon.

The South Georgia Annual Conference was held in Tifton last week.

When and where

The North Georgia Annual Conference session will run through Saturday, at the Classic Center, 300 N. Thomas St., in Athens with Bishop Robin Dease presiding.


During the General Conference held in Charlotte, North Carolina, delegates voted to set the number of U.S. bishops at 32, a decease from the 39 active bishops currently serving.


Delegates will consider a recommendation to reduce the budget by 25% — or $3.7 million — over last year, largely because of last year’s church disaffiliations. Since 2022, more than 330 churches have left the UMC’s North Georgia Conference. That represents about 38% of the conference’s churches and 27% of its members.


The North Georgia Conference Board of Trustees will recommend to the members of the 2024 Annual Conference that the United Methodist Center move from its present location to the campus of Sugarloaf United Methodist Church in Gwinnett County. The conference is currently in the Century Center complex in Atlanta.