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First United Methodist Church of Benton has voted to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church and form a new church. The new church, located on the 641 spur, will be called Three Crosses Church, and will continue the same ministry programs currently offered.

The church council released a statement on Monday stating, “We have enjoyed a long history with the United Methodist Church, and this separation does involve some sadness. However, we feel that to continue to be the thriving church we are and serve the Lord and our community, this was the best course to take. While you will see a name change, the heart and spirit that the community has seen from our church will not change. Youth 412 and our KIT program will continue as they have been. Our many community ministries such as our Food Pantry, GriefShare and Disaster Recovery are ongoing, and a few new ones are already in process. Pastor Leah Howe will continue in ministry with us, and we are excited about the many possibilities ahead of us as Three Crosses Church.”

The church moved from the corner Poplar and 11th Streets to its current location in 2000. In addition to the ministry programs listed in the statement, the church offers two Sunday services, one contemporary and one traditional and Sunday School.

“After much prayer and discernment, we are excited about what the Lord has in store for us here at Three Crosses Church. We invite you to come see and join us in serving the Lord by serving our fellow man,” said Brad Colson, church council chair.