N. Texas Conference wins concession in IRD’s use of mailing lists


Dallas, Texas — The North Texas Annual Conference released a statement today announcing that they have reached an agreement with the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) regarding the use of N. Texas subscriber information obtained from UMR Communication, Inc. last year. UMR Communication, Inc. formerly operated The United Methodist Reporter prior to ceasing operation in May of 2013.

The 2014 North Texas Annual Conference passed a resolution on June 3, 2014 regarding the sale, by the now defunct UMR Communication, Inc. (“UMR”), of certain subscriber information to the IRD. The resolution called for the IRD to cease using, and to return or destroy, the information. Pursuant to an agreement, the IRD will not use the information again and will destroy the information obtained from the UMR that relates to the zip codes found in the North Texas Conference.

“We must do all we can to ensure the protection of our member’s private information and this agreement goes a long way in accomplishing our goal” , declared Bishop Michael McKee in announcing an accord between the North Texas Annual Conference and the Institute on Religion and Democracy.

Prompted by numerous member complaints following the IRD’s May 12th mailing that urged readers to “Help Keep Renegade Bishop from Wrecking United Methodism!”, Pastors Jack Soper of Arapaho United Methodist Church in Richardson, Texas and Don Underwood of Christ United Methodist Church in Plano, Texas sprang into action. Though many were angered by the political tone of the mailing, most were distressed by reality that their personal information intended for use by their churches, had been sold to IRD. Responding to these concerns, Rev. Underwood obtained a temporary restraining order against IRD’s use of names and addresses it purchased from UMR Communication, Inc. and Rev. Soper drafted a resolution for vote at the meeting of the North Texas Annual Conference on June 3rd, which was co-sponsored by over 15 other conference ministers.

Rev.Underwood says that the agreement between the North Texas Conference and the IRD is win not only for the churches of the North Texas Conference but serves as a reminder that pastors must remain vigilant in protecting the information given to them by their congregants. “We live in a world where mailing lists are the new coin of the realm and most of us know that our information is being sold to third party marketers,” Rev. Underwood explained.

Editor’s Note: The web and social media assets of The United Methodist Reporter were purchased in June of 2013 by CircuitWriter Media LLC, who now operates this website and attached social media sites. CircuitWriter Media LLC has no ownership of, or access to, any of the subscriber lists from the print editions of The United Methodist Reporter published by UMC Communication, Inc. 

UMReporter Staff

This story was posted by a staff member of The United Methodist Reporter. For over 160 years The United Methodist Reporter has been helping the people called Methodist to tell their stories. If you have stories that you think need to be told, please let us know at editor@circuitwritermedia.com

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Would really be too bad if folks were exposed to a conservative point of view……………….


sinful as well………………………


you know it…..

Creed Pogue

How does Reconciling Ministries Network send mailings to members of the North Texas Annual Conference? You may not like the communication and obviously have the right to request that you don’t get any more, but the whole fracas seems a little “intolerant.”


“Personal information?” Did the IRD get credit card and SS numbers? My goodness.

Mailing lists are bought and sold all the time. How much junk mail do we each get every week? And this rates as a priority of the N. Texas Conference? It seems they are every bit as politically motivated as the IRD.

And did not the IRD buy something that they now are prohibited from using?

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