August 2, 2010

What about church membership>

A few days ago, we received word from our "home church" that they were seeking to remove our names from their membership records, because we no longer regularly attend.

It stirred up some mixed feelings for us, because we still consider the church and its members as part of our family. We like knowing that we're still a part of one place, no matter how many moves we might make during our years of ministry. It's comforting to feel like there is a place we can call home.

We did some checking and have learned that clergy actually become members of their Annual Conference and are no longer members of a local church. Spouses and families, however, have the choice of where to have their membership. They can leave it where it was before their spouse became clergy, or they can move it based on their current appointment.

Personally, I never had any thought to move my membership from the church that I grew up in. We are still faithful to give when we can (though we do tithe to the church we are appointed to) and we even attend some special events as we are able. I'd like to know if/where other clergy spouses maintain their church memberships. Do you keep your membership at your "home church," or do you move it with your spouse's appointment changes? Where are you a member?

Linda Hodges


  1. I have moved my membership based on where my husband serves, but I actually regret doing so now, and probably won't do that in the future. I don't like being an official member of a place where I don't feel like I belong.

  2. I have always moved my membership because it speaks to our family committment to the church where we are appointed. As it is, my home church is in another state and I really don't know anyone who goes there any more. Frankly, it never occured to me not to join where we're appointed. But when we had a multiple point charge, it was difficult to choose between them, not becuase I didn't know which one I wanted to join; but because the churches tended to act like jealous siblings and joining one was like saying to the others, "We like this church more than yours." But even that worked out fine. Hope that helps.

  3. My spouse has always served multiple church charges and at our first appointment many years ago I was informed by some members of the one church that the pastors wife always puts her membership at this church. When do you want to do that? Being new and naive I blurted out that I was not moving my membership from my home church. Needless to say the members there were miffed for awhile. But I stuck to that and still do. It has served me well and prevented hard feelings when I had the opportunity to explain to each new charge that as we have a home in that community and intend to retire there I have left my membership there too. We support our home church by attending events as we are able and we visit when ever we have time,(vacations, etc). My mother now lives in our home there so she keeps us informed of what is happening with the folks there so we don't feel as lost as we could by being away. And our congregations have been very understanding once they have the whole picture. But many of my fellow spouses have transferred their memberships at each move and that has worked well for them. You need to do what feels right for you.God bless. Bonnie in Tennessee

  4. Don / Georgia Pastors SpouseSeptember 14, 2010 at 5:50 PM

    I am a 64 yr old male and I married a female pastor about 2 1/2 yrs ago and we had our first move this June.

    We came here from a 4 point charge that I was a member of one of the churchs she was pastor in for over 6 yrs and I had been a member for of that church over 10 yrs and attended it for over 20 yrs.

    When we moved here to a 2 point charge I waited about 6 weeks then decided which one of the two I would join and had my membership to the one of my choice.

    I attend services at both churchs and I am active in both of the church's and one of the churchs pays 1/3 of her salary and one pays 2/3 of her salary so I tithe at both churchs accordingly.

    I feel that if these churchs supply us with a home and her salary that I should be a member of one of them and tithe at both of them so I tithe 1/3 of my 10% tithes to one and 2/3 of it to the other.