General Board of Church and Society

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General Board of Church and Society
UMC GBCS logo.png
Abbreviation GBCS
Predecessor Methodist Board of Temperance, Prohibition, and Public Morals
Type Agency of the United Methodist Church
Headquarters Washington, DC; New York, NY
Bishop Robert Hoshibata
Parent organization
United Methodist Church

The General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) is a general agency of the United Methodist Church. It is one of four international general program boards of The United Methodist Church as set out the UMC Book of Discipline. The General Board has headquarters on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. and at the Interchurch Center in New York City. There are five divisions within the GBCS: Public Witness and Advocacy, Administration, Ministry of Resourcing Congregational Life, United Nations Ministry and Communications.


According to the 2004 Book of Discipline, the GBCS's purpose is thus stated:

1002. Purpose - The purpose of the board shall be to relate the gospel of Jesus Christ to the members of the Church and to the persons and structures of the communities and world in which they live. It shall seek to bring the whole of human life, activities, possessions, use of resources, and community and world relationships into conformity with the will of God. It shall show the members of the Church and the society that the reconciliation that God effected through Christ involves personal, social, and civic righteousness.

Spheres of Influence[edit]

There are six stated spheres of influence for the GBCS

  1. The Natural World
  2. The Nurturing Community
  3. The Social Community
  4. The Economic Community
  5. The Political Community
  6. The World Community

Social Issues[edit]

The GBCS was traditionally pro-choice and supportive of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.[1] In 2008, this was affirmed by the General Conference, but, in 2016, it voted in favor of withdrawing the United Methodist Church from the pro-choice organization and criticized the GBCS for its pro-choice position.[2]

On human sexuality, the GBCS opposes discrimination or prejudice against people based on sexual orientation.[3] In 2013, the organization allowed its building, in Washington D.C, to be used by supporters of same-gender marriage.[4]


  1. ^ "Coalition Members | Religious Coalition For Reproductive Choice". Archived from the original on 2016-05-24. Retrieved 2016-05-30. 
  2. ^ "UMC withdraws from interfaith pro-abortion rights group". Religion News Service. Retrieved 2016-05-30. 
  3. ^ "162 III. The Social Community | General Board of Church & Society". Retrieved 2016-05-30. 
  4. ^ "Did DC Methodist Building Violate Church's Rules on Homosexuality?". Christian Post. Retrieved 2016-05-30. 
  • 2004 Book of Discipline, United Methodist Publishing House

External links[edit]