For some members of the United Methodist Church, the cross and flame symbol of the denomination brings to mind cross burning used by the KKK.
The symbol was adopted in 1968 due to the merger of the The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church. The double flame represents the two denominations. The cross and flames represent the Christ and the Holy Spirit. (Wikipedia)
The North Texas Annual Conference voted 558-176 at its annual meeting last weekend (Sept. 19) to send legislation to the 2021 General Conference, the denomination’s global decision-making body, to begin the process for changing that logo.
“If the logo itself has become a stumbling block to part of the population we’re trying to reach, then it’s time for a change,” the Rev. Clayton Oliphint, who chairs the North Texas delegation to the General Conference, told United Methodist News Service.
The Rev. Edlen Cowley wrote a column this summer urging that the denomination move away from the Cross and Flame, saying the emblem conjures for him and other African Americans the terror of Ku Klux Klan cross burnings.
The North Texas Conference voted 558-176 on Sept. 19, at its annual meeting, to submit to the 2021 General Conference legislation drafted by Cowley that would begin the process of changing the insignia.
“This would be a monumental change in a monumental moment,” Cowley said of replacing the Cross and Flame.