About the WCA

The Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA) connects Spirit-filled, orthodox churches, clergy, and laity who hold to Wesleyan theology. It is an association or network of individuals and congregations who share a common understanding of our Wesleyan doctrine and desire to become a vibrant, faithful, growing 21st -century church.

We believe change is coming to The United Methodist Church, and as we live into what comes next, the Wesleyan Covenant Association will connect, encourage, and resource clergy, laity, congregations, and regional chapters by:

  • Committing to the primary authority of Scripture and the Lordship of Jesus Christ
  • Creating a unified response to the Bishops’ Commission recommendation that would maintain traditional, orthodox Methodist beliefs
  • Developing a plan for a positive and faithful future

The Wesleyan Covenant Association affirms the work of other renewal groups, such as The Confessing Movement, Good News, and UM Action. However, the WCA’s purpose is not to fight the political battles raging across the church, but to prepare for and live into a positive and fruitful future.

Upholding Scriptural Authority and the Lordship of Jesus Christ
The earliest Christian affirmation was “Jesus Christ is Lord” (Acts 2:36). This is the core belief that characterizes all Christians and defines discipleship. As followers of Jesus, we seek to live together in obedience to Christ’s teachings as found in Holy Scripture (Matthew 28:20). We know Christ authoritatively through the revelation of God’s Word. We believe “all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful … so that [we] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (II Timothy 3:16).

Our understanding and application of Scripture is informed by 2,000 years of Christian tradition, along with our reason and experience. But God’s Word is “the true rule and guide for faith and practice” (Confession of Faith, Article IV). The Wesleyan Covenant Association aims to ground all of our beliefs and practices in the authority of Scripture and seeks to reestablish our church on this firm foundation. Living and serving under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the authority of Scripture, we are moving forward with Confidence for the future.

Creating a Unified Response
We are in a time of great uncertainty in The United Methodist Church. Persistent and escalating disobedience to the order and discipline of our church has created anarchy. The 2016 General Conference entrusted the Bishops’ Commission on a Way Forward for the Church with the task of arriving at a recommended way to break the impasse over the church’s ministry with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons. A 2019 special General Conference will receive that recommendation and determine how our church will move forward.

The Wesleyan Covenant Association exists to give voice to Spirit-filled, orthodox members as we consider that recommendation and prepare for the decision of the 2019 General Conference. If the Commission’s recommendation is something we can support, the WCA will do so. If not, the WCA will create a unified response, while maintaining our beliefs. We believe that we will be in a better position to respond to the Commission’s recommendation as a unified body of Spirit-filled orthodox believers. Therefore, we seek to gather together as many like-minded clergy, laity, and congregational members of the Wesleyan Covenant Association as possible. This unified association will enable us to respond together and move forward together in the strongest way possible. Acting together will give us Confidence for the Future.

Preparing a Plan for the Future
We believe that, after the 2019 General Conference, United Methodism will look very different from how it looks today. However, we cannot wait until 2019 to figure out how orthodox, evangelical United Methodists will move forward together. That is why the Wesleyan Covenant Association is committed to working on plans for a revitalized 21st-century Methodism that can be implemented either within a United Methodist structure or outside it. Our plans need to be flexible enough to adjust to the Commission’s recommendation and the 2019 General Conference’s decisions. Our plans also need to uphold the integrity of our belief in the primary authority of Scripture under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, as well as seek the best framework for a vital, growing church that is making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. This planning and preparation will give us Confidence for the Future.

Resources – To Churches

  • A connection with like-minded United Methodists and Wesleyans around the world that brings encouragement and support
  • Regional support, resourcing and shared ministry
  • A system that connects like-minded congregations
  • Educational materials to help congregations address the conflict we are experiencing in United Methodism today
  • Keep congregational leaders up to date with what is happening across the church in preparation for the 2019 General Conference
  • A voice and vote in shaping what is next within Methodism
  • Recommended resources and partner ministries that can increase the effectiveness of local church ministry
  • A public listing of orthodox, evangelical Wesleyan congregations to help people find a congregation
  • A reason to stay within The United Methodist Church as we prepare together for whatever comes from the Bishops’ Commission and the 2019 General Conference

Support – To Clergy

  • A connection with like-minded United Methodists and Wesleyans around the world that brings encouragement and support
  • A system that facilitates the connection of like-minded clergy in a regional area for support, resourcing, and addressing the concerns unique to clergy
  • Encouragement and support in staying true to the orthodox, biblical gospel message
  • Keep congregational leaders up to date with what is happening across the church in preparation for the 2019 General Conference
  • A voice and vote in shaping the “next” Methodism for a revitalized 21st -century church
  • Recommended resources and partner ministries that can increase the effectiveness of local church ministry
  • Resources, prepared materials, and recommended guidance for delivering a unified message to the congregation, to the community, and to United Methodist denominational leaders
  • A public listing of orthodox, evangelical Wesleyan clergy that can facilitate persons who are seeking such a pastor to find one and facilitate such clergy connecting with one another
  • A reason to stay within The United Methodist Church as we prepare together for whatever comes from the Bishops’ Commission and the 2019 General Conference

Solidarity – To Laity

  • A connection with like-minded United Methodists and Wesleyans around the world that brings encouragement and support
  • Solidarity with other laity in promoting a traditional, orthodox, Wesleyan understanding of the Christian faith
  • Offering a way to help and strengthening the Spirit-filled, orthodox Wesleyan voice through membership, as the Wesleyan Covenant Association advocates for the Lordship of Jesus Christ through the primary authority of Scripture and prepares to respond to the Bishops’ Commission and the 2019 General Conference
  • Regular communication that keeps laity up to date with what is happening across the church in preparation for the 2019 General Conference
  • Recommended resources and opportunities for lay participation
  • A reason to stay within The United Methodist Church as we prepare together for whatever comes from the Bishops’ Commission and the 2019 General Conference

Rev. Keith Boyette, President 
(president@wesleyancovenant.org)

Rev. Walter Fenton, Vice President for Strategic Engagement 
(wfenton@wesleyancovenant.org)

The Wesleyan Covenant Association Council

Rev. Dr. Jeff Greenway
(Reynoldsburg, OH) – Council Chair
Rev. Carolyn Moore
(Evans, GA) – Council Vice-Chair
Rev. Madeline Carrasco Henners
(La Grange, TX) – Council Secretary
Ferrell Coppedge
(Marietta, GA) – Council Treasurer
Rev. Dr. Bill Arnold
(Wilmore, KY)
Rev. Shane Bishop
(Belleville, IL)
Rev. Dr. Bryan Collier
(Tupelo, MS)
Jennifer Cowart
(Kathleen, GA)
Michelle DeRouen
(New Iberia, LA)

Rev. Joe DiPaolo
(Wayne, PA)
Rev. Dr. Kimba Evariste
(Democratic Republic of Congo)
Jeff Jernigan
(Powder Springs, GA)
Rev. Dr. Bob Kaylor
(Monument, CO)
Rev. Dr. Jerry Kulah
(Garnga City, Liberia)
Rev. Jessica LaGrone
(Wilmore, KY)
Rev. Thomas Lambrecht
(The Woodlands, TX)
Rev. Forbes Matonga
(Nyadire, Zimbabwe)
Rev. Eliseo Mejia
(Paris, KY)

Cara Nicklas
(Oklahoma City, OK)
Rev. Dr. Jonathan Razon
(Baguio City, The Philippines)
Rev. Rob Renfroe
(The Woodlands, TX)
Rev. Dr. Chris Ritter
(Geneseo, IL)
Rev. Dr. Theodore (“Ted”) Smith
(Ladysmith, VA)
Rev. Stephen Sparks
(Indianola, MS)
Dr. David Watson
(Dayton, OH)
Rev. Steve Wood
(Alpharetta, GA)

Statement on Biblical Authority

Given the current challenges directed to the unique place of the Bible in the church, we affirm that the core of the Christian faith is revealed in Scripture as “the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3; NRSV). We look to the Bible therefore as our authority and trustworthy guide, which “is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16; NRSV). Illuminated by tradition, reason, and experience, the revelation of Scripture is the church’s primary and final authority on all matters of faith and practice.

Statement of Faith

We affirm classical Wesleyan doctrine and the historic faith, which the church has used to define the parameters of Christian teaching. Doctrine, properly understood, unifies the church and gives direction to its life. All congregational, clergy, and lay members of the WCA affirm the following Doctrinal Standards:

Statement of Moral Principles

Given our current time and context, we highlight and affirm the following moral principles, acknowledging that other moral principles merit our further attention.

Gender Equality

Scripture teaches that men and women are of equal value in the eyes of God. Accordingly, the church should treat women and men equally.  We believe that both women and men are called to and gifted for ordained and licensed ministry, and both genders are able to hold any role of leadership within the WCA.

Equality

We believe that all persons are of sacred worth. Therefore, we gladly welcome all who seek to grow in their relationship with God to attend worship services and participate in the church’s ministries. No person shall be disqualified from becoming a member of a local congregation, holding a leadership position in the church, or becoming an ordained or licensed clergy based on race, color, nationality, national origin, marital status, or economic condition. The WCA specifically renounces all racial and ethnic discrimination and commits itself to work toward full racial and ethnic equality in the church and in society.

Marriage and Sexuality

We believe marriage and sexual intimacy are good gifts from God. In keeping with Christian teaching through the ages and throughout the Church universal, we believe that marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union. We believe that God intends faithfulness in marriage and celibacy in singleness.

Human Dignity

We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual or group are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of the WCA.

Downloadable version of By-Laws

Downloadable version of Purposes

Downloadable version of Beliefs

(Updated, October 3, 2018)

The following sections are quoted from the WCA bylaws.

Purposes. The Wesleyan Covenant Association (“WCA”) is an association of congregations, clergy persons, and laity who desire to cooperate in the mission of the WCA to promote the ministry of the gospel from a Wesleyan theological perspective within The United Methodist Church and kindred bodies. The WCA is organized exclusively for religious purposes. The purposes for which the WCA is formed include, but are not limited to:

  1.     To promote the worship of the Holy Trinity, to preach the pure Word of God, to uphold the rich tradition of sacramental practice, to maintain Christian fellowship, to foster the edification of believers, and to welcome and advance the work of the Kingdom of God on earth.
  2.       To be obedient to our Lord Jesus Christ’s command to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I [Jesus] have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20).
  3.     To support disciples of Jesus Christ by proclaiming the good news of salvation through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and by exemplifying Jesus’ command to love God and neighbor, by any suitable method or media, which includes but is not limited to the following:
  4.   Connecting local churches who worship Jesus Christ, by using personal evangelism, television and radio, the Internet, conventions, preaching, teaching, missions and other Christian methods;
  5.     Assisting and furthering the proclamation of Scriptural Christianity through printed and digital material, by providing speakers, mentoring, or coaching, and by other instructional and educational programs which may be deemed necessary or convenient in effecting the above purposes; and
  6.     Establishing new programs of outreach and ministry, and the strengthening and partnering with existing programs and organizations that have a similar purpose and dedication to presenting Christ as Savior and Lord.
  7.     To explore and promote the full ministry of the good and life-giving Holy Spirit throughout the life and work of the church, not least in the entire sanctification of Christian disciples.
  8.       To guide the ministries of the WCA within the boundaries of the statement of faith, using accountability processes for congregations, clergy, and lay members as shall be promulgated by the WCA.
  9.       To engage in spiritual work and services based upon the authority of the Holy Bible.
ConferenceOrganizerEmailPhone
Alabama-West FloridaLester Spencerlester@sjlife.com334-277-3037
ArkansasJeff Warrickpastorjeff@journeyumc.com502-844-2303
Baltimore-WashingtonKevin Bakerkbaker@oakdale.church301-774-2030
California NevadaRichard Thompsonpastor.richard@fumcbakersfield.org661-699-3225
California PacificGlen Haworthpastorglen@thefount.church714-962-2593
Central TexasDean PoseyDposey@trinityarl.org817-271-4864
DakotasThom Bowsherpastorthom@milbankcentral.org605-432-4766
Desert SouthwestTom Scotttbscott1@cox.net602-463-5958
East OhioChet Harrisdrchet@dueber.org330-936-8531
Eastern PennsylvaniaJoe DiPaolojdipaolo@engagegodfirst.org215-262-1115
FloridaRuss Gravesrussgraves37@gmail.com321-427-0513
Great PlainsRick Justrick.just@asburychurch.org620-874-1865
Greater New JerseyBeth Caulfieldbcaulfield710@gmail.com908-938-1379
HolstonRowland Buckrbuck@signalcrestumc.org423-464-1349
Illinois Great RiversBob Phillipssoulfxr@hotmail.com309-210-7802
IndianaSamuel Padgettumcpastorsam@gmail.com812-547-2800
KentuckyEliseo Mejiaemejialeiva@me.com859-421-7832
LouisianaNorwood Hinglennhiii@bellsouth.net504-288-2242
IowaMike Morganmmorgan@marionmethodist.org319-377-4856
MemphisLea Griffithleatgriffith@gmail.com270-349-0759
MichiganTom Andersontanderson@humc.us248-887-1311
MinnesotaWesley Gabelpastor@prtel.com218-205-5564
MississippiHugh Griffithhughgriffith2@gmail.com662-435-3393
Mountain SkyBob Kaylorpbk@tlumc.org719-313-6305
New EnglandJohn Marshallpastorjohn@southumc.com860-647-9141 x 314
New YorkSteven Knutsensmkamen@gmail.com845-204-0349
North AlabamaPaul Lawlerplawler@christchurchbham.com205-991-5065
North CarolinaHerb Ormondhormond@suddenlink.net252-714-9574
North GeorgiaDr. Carlos Alarconalarconc76@gmail.com 
Northern IllinoisScott Fieldsfield@clumc.org815-459-0785
Northwest TexasBrian Brownlowbbrownlow@lakeridgeumc.com806-794-4015 x 712
OklahomaLesly Broadbentpastorlesly@firstchurchokc.com580-231-2863
Peninsula-DelawareDavid Bennettdgb419@gmail.com540-219-5813
Rio TexasMatt Penningtonpastormattpennington@gmail.com361-960-4865
South CarolinaJeff Kerseyjeff@mthorebumc.com803-359-3495
SusquehannaChuck Sprenklecsprenkle@susumc.org(717) 743-5880
TennesseeCraig Greencgreen@livingstonfirstchurch.com931-445-4833
Upper New YorkJohn Loeserjohnloeser@yahoo.com716-949-4930
VirginiaBob Cooperbobcooper@vawca.org757-641-5852
West Michigan/DetroitTom Andersontanderson@humc.us248-887-1311
West OhioBrian Straubbstraubwca@columbus.rr.com614-551-8416
Western PennsylvaniaKeith McIlwainkhmcilwain@gmail.com412-680-5097
WisconsinRom Pegrampastorromtumc@gmail.com920-269-4411