Jerry Kulah

African Leader Challenges Liberal United Methodists

on March 25, 2019

Liberian United Methodist seminary leader Jerry Kulah told a United Methodist liberal advocate that the church’s teaching on sexuality is settled. In response, Mark Holland of “Mainstream United Methodists” called Kulah “strident” and insisted: “General Conference 2019 made it abundantly clear, we cannot live together.

Holland’s group unsuccessfully pushed last month’s General Conference to liberalize United Methodism’s sexuality teaching. “Either member of a marriage can demand a divorce,” he wrote. “We clearly do not have two willing parties to work out this relationship.” The rest of Holland’s response to Kulah is here.

And here’s Kulah’s message to Holland:

March 20, 2019


I am praying for you and all of our sisters and brothers of the UMC who are following your lead so that you might come to the realization that your DREAM FOR LEGALIZING SAME-SEX UNION IN THE UMC has DIED. Yes, you may defy church laws and illegally practice it as much as you can, you may deny and deceive some that nothing changed as a result of the Special General Conference, but one thing is clear: the MESSAGE has gone out to the whole wide world that THE GLOBAL UMC HAS REJECTED THE LEGALIZATION OF SAME-SEX UNION, THE ORDINATION OF GAY AND LESBIAN PASTORS AND THE CELEBRATION OF SAME-SEX UNION IN CONGREGATIONS OF THE UMC. That is what we fasted and prayed for and God answered our prayers.

This has been the reality since 1972 to present. Therefore, No attempt now or in the future would change the results. If you did not succeed with the massive support you solicited from some key progressive Bishops and leaders of the church at the recent Special General Conference session, do not think you will have a better opportunity in the future. You need a new game plan, and I can offer you the most preferred.

NO BORN-AGAIN, BIBLICALLY-COMMITTED AND INFORMED, HOLY-SPIRIT BAPTIZED AND EMPOWERED BELIEVER of the UMC in AFRICA shall ever betray the trust and support the celebration of what the Holy Bible calls sin (homosexuality) in the church. Furthermore, given the continued rate of numerical decline your brand of UMC is experiencing, there is no likelihood you shall ever succeed through our global communion and connection. So, if you are really serious about reviving the hopes, dreams and aspirations of the LGBTQIA+ COMMUNITY who want to see the legalization of same-sex marriage, I offer you this new game plan: move out of our connection officially, respectfully, amicably and lovingly and start a new church for LGBTQIA+ PEOPLE. We will support your transition and advocate that you move out along with all of your churches. In that way can be at peace. And you can truly be the kind of church you desire to be.

Unfortunately, many progressives were deceived into believing that “change was coming“, meaning, a full legal inclusion of LGBTQIA+ people within global UMC would happen at the Special Session. That is why you find it so difficult to accept reality. How long will you attempt to deny the truth? Your current state of denial of the facts irrespective of how painful it may be since the defeat of the One Church Plan will not help situation. Your defiant posture along with your followers only invites more pains, guilt and frustration because no one will take you serious. The sad reality, however, is that as members of the same denomination with you, your continued action of defiance presents the UMC to the rest of the Christian Community in particular, and the world at large as a terrible embarrassment to the Christian witness. IT IS TIME TO STOP! YOU CANNOT FIGHT FOR GOD! IF YOU CLAIM YOU ARE RIGHT, MOVE ON! DO NOT INFRINGE UPON MY RIGHTS TO LIVE BY OUR CHURCH’S UNDERSTANDING OF SCRIPTURE AND THE TEACHINGS OF THE CHURCH UNIVERSAL. THAT IS TOTALLY WRONG! YOU CANNOT CHANGE THE TEACHING OF THE BIBLE NOR CHANGE THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UMC ON THIS ISSUE.

We (the UMC in Africa, and conservative UMC globally) will not condone your attempt to compromise the authentic teaching of the Holy Bible on the issue of human sexuality, and thereby betray the trust and earnest labor of your great, great, great grand parents whose blood became the “seal” of the Gospel in Africa. Their graves and tombs all over Africa are a visible witness to their sacrificial labor to ensure that the liberating Gospel of Jesus Christ saturated many parts of the Continent of Africa. We cherish their legacy that must be honored until Christ the LORD returns. Like a relay race, they passed on the baton to our great, great, great grand parents. And today, we are committed to lifting that banner even higher, in evangelizing the nations, revitalizing the church and transforming society until it is time for us to pass it on to the next generation. This is where we stand. God bless you.



  1. Comment by jerry reingardt on March 25, 2019 at 10:02 am

    A remarkable believing remark and i agree if the organization you belong to [any, religious or wordily] you do not agree with its principals you should move out and form your own belief group. Why would one want to be a part of something they disagree with?

  2. Comment by Massey on April 2, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    I am so thankful to God for Pastor Kula’s clear understanding of Word of God, I agree that Mr.Holland should leave us alone and start his own church with LGBT community,Being politically correct is destroying America

  3. Comment by Stacey Murdock on March 25, 2019 at 10:20 am

    I agree with the Bishop, the heartbreak at the 19 conference was caused by liberal Bishops that promised the rainbow coalition that their time had come to take control of the UMC. They need to leave, there will be no peace if they continue to disrupt our mission to make disciples wilh a constant cry for endorsements vs inclusion and scream punishment instead of accountability. We owe the African Central Conferences thanks for their support of our mission.

  4. Comment by Bruce on March 31, 2019 at 3:22 pm

    Well said. Couldn’t agree more.

  5. Comment by Stephen Lenzo on March 25, 2019 at 10:32 am

    It is evident to me most still don’t grasp what happened- that God spoke to us, sent a decisive message by the traditional orthodox vote… There was so much prayer, and still more prayer surrounding this conference than perhaps ever before, asking, begging God to reveal His will and yet although God clearly showed up and spoke loudly many still refuse to hear His voice and obey. Why does this sound so familiar??

    As for the OCP or CCP – Based on past (biblical) experience, will God endorse and bless a two faced, bi-directional church? NO!! It’s the way of the Word – all the way – or it’s just mans way and pointless.

    Did progressives really think God would show up and go against his own word and teachings for… well, arguably the entirety of the history of Christianity and Judaism and our knowledge of God?? (apparently so) Or do they just not believe in the power of prayer?? Or that God showed up at all at this mega gathering of the Church?? And we all know He was there… “where two or three are gathered in my name…”

    I contend the result of this “holy conferencing” was and is Gods perfect, loving will which has been clearly consistent. Gods voice thundering loud and clear – I created them male and female… I created them to be in union together… for this reason a man leaves his parents… this is the marriage I consecrate… this is the sexuality I consecrate…
    Hear me now O Church… return to me… Trust and Obey!

  6. Comment by Amanda on March 27, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    Stephen Lenzo.. I want to commend you for your thoughts and add my two cents in support…Millions of Methodists around the globe prayed specifically for God’s will to be accomplished at the special meeting in February for days.. weeks….months… even years. Do we think God did not care about or hear those petitions? Where is our faith that He DOES care and DOES hear? If we have none, why even bother to pray in the first place? Who would DARE to stand against God and now proclaim , in their human assessment of the vote results, that a mistake was actually made and God Himself, in no way and with no power, orchestrated the outcome of that meeting to be the very will which His people so prayerfully and diligently sought?? It is preposterous and smacks of outrageous arrogance and shameful rebellion to think that God and His will and purpose can or will be manipulated by humans to suit our whims…or temper tantrums when things don’t go the way we expected or wanted. God shall not be mocked or thwarted! And woe to those who assume they know better and try to subvert His almighty will. Nothing but pure rebellion.

  7. Comment by Dixie on March 25, 2019 at 10:45 am

    Powerful and truthful letter from the bishop. I pray that this will inspire and embolden Christians everywhere!

  8. Comment by Rev. Dr. Lee D Cary (ret.) on March 25, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    You state, “If you are really serious about reviving the hopes, dreams and aspirations of the LGBTQIA+ COMMUNITY who want to see the legalization of same-sex marriage, I offer you this new game plan: move out of our connection officially, respectfully, amicably and lovingly and start a new church for LGBTQIA+ PEOPLE.”

    With the great respect that you deserve, what you suggest is not aligned with the historical Modus Operandi of the progressive left in America. They do not withdraw and separate. They relentlessly campaign for their worldview until their opposition wearies. The majority of UMC Bishops, and the Boards & Agencies, were precursors of that anticipated victory. The delegates from outside the U.S. saved, in St. Louis, the UMC from that takeover. Expect efforts to discredit and marginalize the role those non-U.S. delegates played in defeating the OCP.

    For a non-church example: America’s public schools have widely surrendered to the progressive liberal agenda. Their perceived threat today comes from the homeschooling movement, as well as private Christian schools. They resist their growth. Another example: Hollywood surrendered to the LGBTQAI+ agenda decades ago. And, public advertising/marketing surrendered in the last two decades or so.

    So, sir, there will be no LGBTQect structured withdrawal. It’s not going to happen. That would represent a surrender. Progressives don’t surrender, not even after being defeated. The 2020 General Conference will illustrate that.

    You write, Sir: “The sad reality, however, is that as members of the same denomination with you, your continued action of defiance presents the UMC to the rest of the Christian Community in particular, and the world at large as a terrible embarrassment to the Christian witness.”

    Perhaps it’s an embarrassment to the “world at large,” but their defiance is only a blip on the U.S. domestic Christian Community, IMHO.

    Roman Catholics are consumed by their own pedo-priests issue. The other “Sever Sisters” of legacy, mainline Protestant denominations have already surrendered to the LGBTQetc movement. They will go the way of the Shakers. Today, the growing edges in Protestant Christendom is among several of the conservative denominations, and the non-denominational independent congregations. To the extend this UMC dust-up continues, it will benefit those two Protestant witnesses to Christ with refugees from the UMC.

    The only way to confirm the decision of the 2019 GC is to enforce the provisions of the BoD with consistent, decisive, and tough love. And soon.

  9. Comment by Bruce Willis on March 25, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    Rev. Carry.
    I concur with you. In the u.s. nothing will change. Liberal bishops and ordained will continue to thumb their nose at the bod. They will never stop.
    Scripture as stated in the quadralateral as primary is no longer primary. Political correctness and social justice are primary. I believe as you they will never leave. As evidenced by the sharp decline in the liberal western jurisdictions they will not survive. This ocp stuff was all about protecting the the institution of the umc not protecting the local church. Which means it’s about protecting the money.
    [email protected]

  10. Comment by Melissa on March 25, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    Rev. Dr. Cary:
    Every time I read remarks by Dr. Kulah in response to the Methodist liberals, it gives me hope for my church. Dr. Kulah is a truly inspiring witness for Christ. Last week, I read the subject article by Mark Holland with much frustration and dismay. The use of the term “mainstream” as a description of the Methodist liberals is a misnomer. The tactic of presenting themselves as the voice of the majority and pretending to be the “good guys” when actually privately conducting themselves in just the opposite manner is typical of the strategy used by the liberals in the Methodist Church for years. Sadly, I agree with all your comments regarding Holland’s liberal faction. Your words, “The only way to confirm the decision of the 2019 GC is to enforce the provisions of the BoD with consistent, decisive, and tough love. And soon.” are spot on. The results of the 2019 General Conference must be strongly enforced. It is long past time for traditional Methodists to stand firm.

  11. Comment by Bruce on March 31, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    You are right on with your analysis. These groups will never give up until they have converted every good institution into their warped view.

  12. Comment by Fletcher on March 25, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    Why is this man not a bishop?

  13. Comment by Brad Pope on March 25, 2019 at 4:06 pm

    The OCP supporters have to either graciously accept the rules or leave but staying and using all the self righteous (not so) coded language and offerings of false hope to their laity fans is causing lasting harm that is anything but Christian.

  14. Comment by Andrew Hughes on March 25, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    Great words Dr. Kulah. I am encouraged as the Holy Spirit is still restraining evil until Christs’ return. We trust God to re-empower the UMC.

  15. Comment by Myron Isaac Simmons on March 25, 2019 at 6:15 pm

    Racism is rampant among the leaders of The One Church Plan. I taught two courses to ministerial students while in Africa. I found my students, alert, multilingual, and capable of debating the great themes of scripture. Most American theologs that I have met are less than their equal. We have much to learn from our African brothers and we would do well to shake off our racist and imperialistic attitudes toward them.

  16. Comment by Thomas Keith Howell on March 25, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    Does Reverend Kulah’s seminary have online classes? It would be awesome if it did!

  17. Comment by Gary Bebop on March 25, 2019 at 8:47 pm

    The Africans are not going to accept the overthrow of historic Christian morality based on doctrinal novelties and hegemonic North American swagger and devilish contrivance. Jerry Kulah speaks with winsome, healing, clarifying charismatic fire, and we must stop our clowning and listen. We must “get over ourselves” and acknowledge that we are on the cusp of a Great Awakening as a truly global church. Disobedient bishops will not lead this revival.

  18. Comment by John Smith on March 26, 2019 at 7:13 am

    However, until “We (the UMC in Africa, and conservative UMC globally) ” start enforcing the BOD it will all be for naught.

  19. Comment by Donald on March 31, 2019 at 7:02 am

    Bingo! Bingo! Bingo! Bingo! Bingo! Bingo! Bingo! Bingo! Bingo! Bingo! Bingo! Bingo! Bingo! Bingo! Bingo!

  20. Comment by Donald on March 31, 2019 at 7:06 am

    Like a typical American Progressive, you attempt to portray yourself as a victim rather than accepting the reality that these are the words of truth. Lucifer never has accepted the truth over the eons. I doubt you and those who agree with you will ever do so either.

  21. Comment by MikeS on March 26, 2019 at 8:50 am

    Regarding the name “Mainstream United Methodists”. I think it is odd the way that aging, shrinking religious fringe groups continue to refer to themselves as ‘mainstream’ or ‘mainline’. The conservative religious viewpoint of the Global South is today’s actual mainstream.

  22. Comment by William on March 26, 2019 at 11:56 am

    United Methodists Heretics would be the correct name.

  23. Comment by Terry on March 26, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    It’s interesting to watch the liberals (those who take great liberty to reinterpret God’s
    truth for the unwashed masses) squirming now. Though they threaten with great bluster, they are having to face the fact (many for the first time) that they don’t have a clue to understanding the will of God. (Have you ever seen liberal church leaders or pastors try to talk “spiritual,” and don’t know how to do it, but they think they do?) Liberals appear to think of themselves as their own (and everybody else’s) “God.” After all, unlike evangelicals, only they can think “outside the box.” (I am reminded of when Dr. Thomas Oden was converted, as a UM seminary professor, from secularism to faith in Christ. He said something to the effect of, “I am completely committed to un-originality.”) It seems that the only form of love liberals can use is to never say no to personal sin. Is that what perfect love is? Dr. Kulah, like the recent General Conference, has hit the liberals’ raw nerve, and that is only making some of them angrier. Hopefully though, it is causing some others to face their own self-imposed emptiness and their need to return to the One true God. (By the way, how did you like that great display of liberal Methodist perfect love and true unity on the last day of the General Conference?) The Church is indeed of God, and God will have a people for Himself—United Methodist or not—who perfectly love Him and worthily magnify His holy Name. United Methodists, don’t give up; the battle is not just ours, but mainly His!

  24. Comment by David on March 26, 2019 at 3:53 pm

    A timely survey was released today and published in the NYT.

    Sixty-two percent of Americans continue to support same-sex marriage, the survey found. But among all racial and ethnic groups surveyed, individuals identifying as Asian-Pacific Islander Americans demonstrated the highest level of support for both same-sex marriage (75 percent) and for laws that would protect L.G.B.T. people from discrimination in jobs, public accommodations and housing (73 percent, four percentage points more than Americans over all)…
    Breaking survey responses down by participants’ faith, analysts found majority support for anti-discrimination measures for L.G.B.T. people from every major religious group. The strongest support came from Unitarian Universalists (90 percent), Jews (80 percent) and Hindus (79 percent). Seventy percent of Mormons, 60 percent of Muslims and 54 percent of white evangelical Protestants were also in favor.— Public Religion Research Institute (3-26-2019)

  25. Comment by William on March 26, 2019 at 6:26 pm

    This is not a discrimination matter within the UMC. God’s Word was not based on surveys. All are welcome in the UMC to come and find Jesus through repentance and receive the grace of salvation and transformed lives. The mission of the UMC is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. That means transformed lives FROM sin one conversion at a time. For those who view this grace of God as discrimination — how terribly tragic.

  26. Comment by Sarah on March 26, 2019 at 9:13 pm

    Memorize this verse:
    “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh” Matthew 19:5

  27. Comment by David on March 28, 2019 at 6:56 pm

    If Christianity was so concerned about marriage, why did it take a thousand years for it to get involved in it?

  28. Comment by William on March 29, 2019 at 8:40 am

    Again — my kindergarten grandson can read this and comprehend it:

  29. Comment by David on March 30, 2019 at 10:07 pm

    Marriage was considered a business transaction between families and nothing particularly religious by the early Christians. Of course, for a time at least, they thought the world was about to end.

  30. Comment by Chris Brooks on April 3, 2019 at 7:26 pm


  31. Comment by Walker Veliz on April 5, 2019 at 1:51 pm

    Yes, and MY kindergarten grandson can read and comprehend this from the Holy bible: “If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.”
    Only an idiot would rely on the Bible as a literal document or look to Liberia as the standard by which to judge human progress. The UM church has chosen to live in a closet so that their own deep fears about identity, truth, love, and inclusion never have to be threatened, but in so doing they have walled out everything Jesus ever taught. So look to Liberia for your salvation, but if you’re looking for Jesus in your tiny little closet, you won’t find Him there.

  32. Comment by Diane on April 12, 2019 at 1:58 pm

    My thoughts exactly. The Bible is a narrative text. There is a developmental standard by which educators determine reading comprehension ability in American schools. Literal comprehension of a narrative text is a developmental stage in reading consistent only with early readers (5-6 years of age). Any student beyond that age is expected to apply greater intellectual sophistication and knowledge from accumulated life experiences when interpreting a narrative text. Older, mature, skilled readers will often naturally disagree on the meaning of a given narrative text because our brains rely on diverse life experiences and a variety of literary comprehension clues: context, author’s purpose, audience, literary symbolism, historical period, etc. Conservatives demand a uniform, literal understanding of the Bible when developmentally that’s only to be expected from those in primary-aged Sunday School classes (preschoolers and early readers).

  33. Comment by Lynn Higginbotham on March 27, 2019 at 9:50 am

    Thank you Reverend Jerry Kulah, for showing the strength and courage that our “progressive” American UMC Bishops and pastors do not have. The Word of God is our solid and unchanging foundation and you clearly stand on it. I pray that you will be proven right that the OCP advocates will never be able to take over the UMC and install their beliefs as a UMC cornerstone. We already have the only cornerstone we need. God bless you for standing strong.

  34. Comment by John Soderberg on March 28, 2019 at 5:32 am

    What a wonderful witness of love. The Bishop’s first sentence says triumphantly if not gleefully, “…your dream has DIED!” And the choir sings, “Amen”

    I read the article and I was both saddened and challenged. Words like these can chill and kill. They feel righteous.

    From the Good Friday cross, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they are doing.” I think we all need to hear those words.

  35. Comment by Laura Nusbaum on April 1, 2019 at 2:58 pm

    Even Jesus turned over tables!

  36. Comment by CARL T ROUNTREE on April 1, 2019 at 5:08 pm

    Kulah, if the General Conference decision had been any other than it is I would have removed myself and my family from UMC membership the very next day. I have become so wearied of the UMC leadership NOT enforcing the BoD that I have, in the last 15 – 20 years, seriously considered leaving the UMC myself. I have continued in the UMC only because I have trusted God to lead us in the right path. I believe He has shown and lighted the path with the decision of the General Conference. It is now up to the rank and file of the UMC to hold our bishops and clergy accountable for their decisions and actions.

  37. Comment by lancelot lamar on April 25, 2019 at 10:52 pm

    The Africans have the Word, the Faith, and the Holy Spirit so they are simply replacing the dead UMC that exists in much of the United States. The liberal embrace of homosexuality is almost a perfect symbol of their sterility–their lack of fertility and fecundity–both physically and spiritually. The Africans have both the demographic and evangelistic growth that comes from proclaiming and living out the authentic Christian faith.

    Praise God that the fruit of our faithful missionaries 150 years ago will now be the Methodist future, just as they will be the Anglican future, as the Episcopal Church in the U.S. and the Church of England in England die on the vine of their worldliness.

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