Decision Number 8
Status of Ministers of Former Methodist Protestant Church Left Permanently Without Appointment
An "unstationed" minister under the provisions of the Methodist Protestant Church Discipline of 1936, is in the same relation to an Annual Conference as "located" Ministers under the provisions of Paragraphs 235-39, Discipline 1940.
Statement of Facts
In the former Methodist Protestant Church from time to time certain ordained ministers were left without appointment permanently, some by their own request, and others by action of the Conference. There were certain such former members of the Maryland Conference of the Methodist Protestant Church prior to the merger and the formation of the present Baltimore Conference. At the 1940 session of Baltimore Annual Conference a question was propounded by G. E. Williams for a ruling by the presiding Bishop, Edwin H. Hughes. The same was entered upon the Conference Journal and appears therein on Page 69.
REQUEST FOR RULING
The Bishop is requested to rule as to the status in The Methodist Church of Ordained ministers of the former Methodist Protestant Church who were members of a Conference, and who either voluntarily or involuntarily were left permanently without appointments.
RULING OF THE BISHOP
The Bishop rules that such ministers, in harmony with the general law of the former Methodist Protestant Church, would hold to The Methodist Church the relation of located preachers.
The determination of this question involves the interpretation of certain Paragraphs of the Discipline of the former Methodist Protestant Church as well as corresponding Paragraphs of the Discipline of The Methodist Church.
The Methodist Protestant Church, Discipline of 1936, by Paragraphs 23 and 25 of Section 5 (pages 58 and 59) provided for "unstationed" ministers. A minister might be placed upon the "unstationed list" either voluntarily or involuntarily' After being so placed upon the unstationed list, he was no longer accountable to the Annual Conference, but was simply a member of the Quarterly Conference of the Charge where he located. See Methodist Protestant Discipline 1936, pages. 27, 79 and 86.
A comparative examination of Paragraphs 235 to 239 inclusive of The Methodist Church Discipline, 1940, as to location of members of an Annual Conference discloses that the provisions of the Methodist Protestant Discipline above mentioned as to "unstationed" ministers, created the same relationship to the Annual Conference as the provisions of our Discipline concerning "located" ministers. In other words, allowing for certain minor differences not affecting the basic question, an unstationed minister of the former Methodist Protestant Church was and is to all intents and purposes a located minister of The Methodist Church.
Accordingly the ruling of the Bishop in the foregoing matter is hereby affirmed.