MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A third of nearly 600 United Methodist Churches in the southern half of Alabama and western portion of the Florida Panhandle have voted to disaffiliate from the denomination.

The requests are expected to be ratified on Sunday during a special called conference session conducted via Zoom.

193 congregations will leave the Alabama – West Florida Conference. More than 50 (listed below) are in the WKRG News 5 viewing area.

United Methodist Churches have been given to the end of the year to leave the congregation while still maintaining ownership of church property. The option was made available after the UMC in 2019 affirmed its stance against gay clergy and same sex marriage.

While the move was designed to allow more liberal churches to disaffiliate, the opposite has happened in the South, with the vast majority of breakaway congregations being more conservative. They fear the UMC will ultimately endorse gay rights within the church.

To learn more about the issue watch this special report:

The following churches in the WKRG News 5 area have petitioned for disaffiliation:

Lower Alabama

Aquilla UMC  – Millry 

Bay Minette FUMC – Bay Minette 

Bermuda – Monroeville

Brewton FUMC – Brewton 

Chickasaw UMC – Chickasaw 

Citronelle UMC – Citronelle 

Crawford Chapel UMC – Mobile –

Creola UMC – Creola –

Deer Park UMC – Deer Park 

East Brewton UMC – East Brewton

Epworth UMC – Vinegar Bend 

Excel UMC – Excel 

Florala UMC – Florala

Frisco City UMC – Frisco City 

Gainestown UMC  – Gainestown 

Grace UMC  – Mobile 

Gulf Shores UMC – Gulf Shores 

Hamden Ridge UMC – Castleberry

Hartwood UMC – Repton 

Hopewell UMC – Florala 

Latham UMC – Stockton 

Lillian UMC – Lillian 

Loxley UMC – Loxley 

Megargel UMC – Megargel 

Mt. Carmel UMC – Millry 

Mt. Zion- West UMC – Evergreen 

Orange Beach UMC – Orange Beach 

Pollard UMC – Flomaton

Robertsdale UMC – Robertsdale 

Rosinton UMC – Robertsdale 

Satsuma UMC – Satsuma 

Stapleton UMC – Stapleton 

Stockton UMC – Stockton 

St. Mark UMC – Mobile

Stillwater Church – Saraland 

Wilmer UMC – Wilmer

Wallace UMC – Brewton 

Northwest Florida

Aldersgate UMC – Molino 

Allen Memorial UMC – Cantonment 

Bagdad UMC – Bagdad 

Bellview UMC – Pensacola 

Christ UMC – Milton 

Clear Springs UMC – Robertsdale 

Crestview FUMC – Crestview 

Crosspoint UMC – Niceville 

Destin UMC – Destin 

Farm Hill UMC – Cantonment 

Gonzalez UMC – Cantonment 

Mt. Carmel UMC – Jay 

New Hope UMC – Robertsdale 

Pineview UMC – Jay 

Woodbine UMC – Pace