40 United Methodists in new U.S. Congress

Translate Page

Forty members of the 115th Congress – just beginning its work in Washington – are United Methodists. That’s a decline by three from the 114th Congress.

In the Senate, United Methodists remain at 10. The number of United Methodists in the House has decreased from 33 to 30.

But the number of United Methodists in the Senate could fall by one soon. Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions from Alabama, a member of Ashland Place United Methodist Church in Mobile, is President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to be U.S. Attorney General.

Sessions’ appointment is subject to Senate approval, and the Senate Judiciary Committee has been holding hearings on the matter this week.

Three newly elected United Methodists will serve in the 115th Congress: Sen. John Kennedy, R-La.; Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla.; and Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo. Crist is a former governor of Florida and Cheney is the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney.

About this list

This tabulation is based on the religious affiliations reported by Pew Research Center and CQ/Roll Call. It includes only United Methodists, not members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church or other Methodist groups.

Also, note that Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) is now listed as “Protestant unspecified” rather than United Methodist.

Republicans outnumber Democrats 27 to 13 among United Methodists in Congress. The small partisan decline from 72 percent Republican in the previous Congress to 67 percent in the new Congress owes mostly to the retirement of five House Republicans.

Texas provides the largest number of United Methodists in Congress with eight, followed by five from Georgia, and three each from Kansas and Ohio. Both U.S. Senators from Georgia are United Methodists and Republicans.

The South and Border South states have 25 United Methodists in Congress, while eight members represent states of the Midwest and six represent states of the far West. There is one United Methodist member from New England. There is at least one United Methodist member in 21 states, while 29 states have none.

United Methodists remain in third place in congressional religious affiliations, behind Catholics and Baptists – the same ordering since 1994.

United Methodist governors include Republicans Phil Bryant of Mississippi, Nikki Haley of South Carolina and Rick Scott of Florida, as well as Democrat Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania.

Haley, who attends Mount Horeb United Methodist Church in Lexington, South Carolina, has been named U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, subject to Senate confirmation.

Here, drawn from religious affiliations as reported by Pew Research Center and CQ/Roll Call, is the full breakdown of United Methodists in the 115th Congress:

Ten senators: Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.; Tom Cotton, R-Ark.; Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.; David Perdue, R-Ga.; Pat Roberts, R-Kan.; John Kennedy, R-La.; Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.; Richard Burr, R-N.C.; Rob Portman, R-Ohio.

30 House members: Doris Matsui, D-Calif.; Mark Takano, D-Calif.; Mike Coffman, R-Colo.; Bill Posey, R-Fla.; Charlie Crist, D-Fla.; Rick Allen, R-Ga.; Earl L. Carter, R-Ga.; Rob Woodall, R-Ga.; David Loebsack, D-Iowa; Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan.; Kevin Yoder, R-Kan.; Thomas Massie, R-Ky.; Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md.; Bennie Thompson, D-Miss.; Emanuel Cleaver II, D-Mo.; Bob Gibbs, R-Ohio; Steve Stivers, R-Ohio; Tom Cole, R-Okla.; Phil Roe, R-Tenn.; Joe Barton, R-Texas; John Culberson, R-Texas; Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas; Kay Granger, R-Texas; Gene Green, D-Texas; Sam Johnson, R-Texas; Pete Olson, R-Texas; Pete Sessions, R-Texas; Derek Kilmer, D-Wash.; Rick Larsen, D-Wash.; and Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.

Menendez is research director for Americans for Religious Liberty.

News media contact: Vicki Brown, news editor, [email protected] or 615.742.5469.

Like what you're reading? Support the ministry of UM News! Your support ensures the latest denominational news, dynamic stories and informative articles will continue to connect our global community. Make a tax-deductible donation at ResourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.

Sign up for our newsletter!

Local Church
High gas prices and inflation are affecting the ministries of United Methodist pastors in the U.S., who are dealing with increased demand at food pantries and other charities, as well as their own paychecks not stretching as far. Original photo by Paul Brennan, courtesy of Pixabay; graphic by Laurens Glass, UM News.

Inflation, gas prices complicate ministries

Rising prices are affecting the ministries of United Methodists, especially rural multi-point charges. Pastors also are finding the buying power of their paychecks shrinking.
Human Rights
A view of the U.S. Supreme Court. United Methodists have varied reactions after the Supreme Court on June 24 overturned Roe v. Wade, holding that there is no longer a federal constitutional right to an abortion. Photo courtesy of the Architect of the Capitol.

United Methodists react to end of Roe v. Wade

United Methodists alternately expressed fear and contentment with the U.S. Supreme Court decision released June 24 that holds there is no longer a federal constitutional right to an abortion.
The Rev. Tom Berlin (left) presents a copy of his book, “Courage,” to Massachusetts National Guard Chaplain Chad McCabe in the chapel at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington. McCabe, whose unit was assigned to help provide security at the U.S. Capitol after the January riot, contacted Wesley Seminary asking for Bibles, novels and board games for troops stationed there. Photo by Lisa Helfert for Wesley Theological Seminary. Copyright 2021. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Church responds to chaplain's call to help soldiers

A National Guard chaplain got Bibles, games and 150 copies of a new book about courage when he turned to Wesley Theological Seminary for help keeping soldiers occupied in Washington in the aftermath of the Capitol insurrection.