There are historic ties but no current operational oversight between Bay View and The United Methodist Church.
FEBRUARY 14, 2018… LANSING MI: In response to a federal lawsuit filed against the Bay View Association, Bishop David Alan Bard issued a statement encouraging reconciliation and inviting prayers for peace and understanding.
“We acknowledge and affirm the century old relationship The United Methodist Church of Michigan has had with the Bay View Association.” Said Bishop Bard, “We also recognize the emotional pain of all those involved in the current membership disagreement.” He added, “We pray that all involved will find a path to reconciliation and understanding which accommodates the legitimate competing interests so that this beautiful community on Michigan’s shores can once again serve as a place of learning, peace and harmony.”
The Bay View Association is one of many organizations started by and having a historic tie to The United Methodist Church and the West Michigan Conference. The conference does not provide any operational oversight or appoint members to the Bay View Association. The bishop, or representative of the bishop’s office, is invited to serve as an ex-officio member of the Bay View Association Board of Trustees, but this role has not been actively exercised in recent years. Other organizations historically related to the Michigan Area of The UMC include hospitals, colleges, retirement communities and missional programs throughout the state.
The Bay View Association began in 1875 by Michigan Methodists as a camp meeting “for intellectual and scientific culture and the promotion of the cause of religion and morality.” The current Bay View community consists of 444 cottages on 337 acres. The land belongs to the association, and the cottages are owned by the members who lease the land on a long-term basis. The federal lawsuit challenges the long-standing rules about who can buy or inherit a cottage and become members of the association. The Bay View Association, separate from both the West Michigan Conference and the United Methodist Church, has its own rules and requirements about who can become a member.Bay