HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Almost 200 United Methodist Churches were approved to leave the denomination at a called session of the North Alabama conference last weekend.

198 churches requested and were approved to leave as the denomination faces a growing movement across the nation concerning the church’s position on same-sex marriage and the ordination of openly LGBTQ+ clergy.

However, 440 churches in the state plan to stay.

Not all churches voted on the measure, including the Trinity United Methodist Church in Huntsville.

Rev. Mitchell Williams, the senior pastor at the Trinity said, “Many churches haven’t even taken a vote.”

In order to request disaffiliation, individual churches had to get 66.7% of their congregation to agree to leave.

“More and more people in the United States have thought that thought that’s not what God wants them to do,” Williams explained. “Many others have pointed out to Scripture in a more a more conservative way that that’s what Scripture says.”

“Our congregation lives with each other fine disagreeing on that matter. It’s not a creedal matter for many of us, but for some of us it was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Williams said.

Even though there are a good amount of churches remaining, Williams said, “We’ll be smaller.”

“Some of the ministries that we support missions that we support we support will not benefit from division, but we’ll continue. In fact, we’ll start new churches to make up for some of the churches that have left,” he concluded.