The United Methodist Church (UMC) is the largest U.S. denomination, with about 4.7 million members, and the largest denomination in the world by adherents.
Its worldwide membership has increased nearly 15 percent since 2010, when it had about 4 million.
The UMC, with its focus on the teachings of the Bible and its own religious beliefs, has come under fire in recent years for its stances on social issues and LGBT issues.
The denomination has also been criticized for promoting gender and sexual orientation change efforts that critics say are divisive and hostile to traditional marriage.
In 2015, UMC President Dr. David Kinnaman announced that he was stepping down, citing personal issues and health.
This article originally appeared on NBC News.