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"Methodist" and "Methodist Church" redirect here. Methodism_sentence_0

For other uses, see Methodism (disambiguation) and Methodist Church (disambiguation). Methodism_sentence_1

Methodism, also called the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related denominations of Protestant Christianity which derive their doctrine of practice and belief from the life and teachings of John Wesley. Methodism_sentence_2

George Whitefield and John's brother Charles Wesley were also significant early leaders in the movement. Methodism_sentence_3

It originated as a revival movement within the 18th-century Church of England and became a separate denomination after Wesley's death. Methodism_sentence_4

The movement spread throughout the British Empire, the United States, and beyond because of vigorous missionary work, today claiming approximately 80 million adherents worldwide. Methodism_sentence_5

Wesleyan theology, which is upheld by the Methodist Churches, focuses on sanctification and the effect of faith on the character of a Christian. Methodism_sentence_6

Distinguishing doctrines include the new birth, assurance, imparted righteousness, the possibility of entire sanctification, and the works of piety. Methodism_sentence_7

Scripture is considered as a primary authority, but Methodists also look to Christian tradition, including the historic creeds. Methodism_sentence_8

Most Methodists teach that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for all of humanity and that salvation is available for all. Methodism_sentence_9

Against the Calvinist position that God has pre-ordained the salvation of a select group of people, many Methodists teach a form of Arminianism. Methodism_sentence_10

However, Whitefield and several other early leaders of the movement were considered Calvinistic Methodists and held to the Calvinist position. Methodism_sentence_11

In addition to evangelism, Methodism emphasises charity and support for the sick, the poor, and the afflicted through the works of mercy. Methodism_sentence_12

These ideals, collectively known as the Social Gospel, are put into practice by the establishment of hospitals, orphanages, soup kitchens, and schools to follow Christ's command to spread the good news and serve all people. Methodism_sentence_13

The movement has a wide variety of forms of worship, ranging from high church to low church in liturgical usage. Methodism_sentence_14

Denominations that descend from the British Methodist tradition are generally less ritualistic, while American Methodism is more so, the United Methodist Church in particular. Methodism_sentence_15

Methodism is known for its rich musical tradition, and Charles Wesley was instrumental in writing much of the hymnody of the Methodist Church. Methodism_sentence_16

Early Methodists were drawn from all levels of society, including the aristocracy, but the Methodist preachers took the message to labourers and criminals who tended to be left outside organized religion at that time. Methodism_sentence_17

In Britain, the Methodist Church had a major effect in the early decades of the developing working class (1760–1820). Methodism_sentence_18

In the United States, it became the religion of many slaves who later formed black churches in the Methodist tradition. Methodism_sentence_19

Origins Methodism_section_0

For a detailed history of Methodism in Britain, see Methodist Church of Great Britain. Methodism_sentence_20

Further information: History of Methodism in the United States and John Wesley § Persecutions and lay preaching Methodism_sentence_21

The Methodist revival began in England with a group of men, including John Wesley (1703–1791) and his younger brother Charles (1707–1788), as a movement within the Church of England in the 18th century. Methodism_sentence_22

The Wesley brothers founded the "Holy Club" at the University of Oxford, where John was a fellow and later a lecturer at Lincoln College. Methodism_sentence_23

The club met weekly and they systematically set about living a holy life. Methodism_sentence_24

They were accustomed to receiving Communion every week, fasting regularly, abstaining from most forms of amusement and luxury and frequently visited the sick and the poor, as well as prisoners. Methodism_sentence_25

The fellowship were branded as "Methodist" by their fellow students because of the way they used "rule" and "method" to go about their religious affairs. Methodism_sentence_26

John, who was leader of the club, took the attempted mockery and turned it into a title of honour. Methodism_sentence_27

In 1735, at the invitation of the founder of the Georgia Colony, General James Oglethorpe, both John and Charles Wesley set out for America to be ministers to the colonists and missionaries to the Native Americans. Methodism_sentence_28

Unsuccessful in their work, the brothers returned to England conscious of their lack of genuine Christian faith. Methodism_sentence_29

They looked for help to Peter Boehler and other members of the Moravian Church. Methodism_sentence_30

At a Moravian service in Aldersgate on 24 May 1738, John experienced what has come to be called his evangelical conversion, when he felt his "heart strangely warmed". Methodism_sentence_31

He records in his journal: "I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death." Methodism_sentence_32

Charles had reported a similar experience a few days previously. Methodism_sentence_33

Considered a pivotal moment, Daniel L. Burnett writes: "The significance of [John] Wesley's Aldersgate Experience is monumental … Without it the names of Wesley and Methodism would likely be nothing more than obscure footnotes in the pages of church history." Methodism_sentence_34

The Wesley brothers immediately began to preach salvation by faith to individuals and groups, in houses, in religious societies, and in the few churches which had not closed their doors to evangelical preachers. Methodism_sentence_35

John Wesley came under the influence of the Dutch theologian Jacobus Arminius (1560–1609). Methodism_sentence_36

Arminius had rejected the Calvinist teaching that God had pre-ordained an elect number of people to eternal bliss while others perished eternally. Methodism_sentence_37

Conversely, George Whitefield (1714–1770), Howell Harris (1714–1773), and Selina Hastings, Countess of Huntingdon (1707–1791) were notable for being Calvinistic Methodists. Methodism_sentence_38

George Whitefield, returning from his own mission in Georgia, joined the Wesley brothers in what was rapidly to become a national crusade. Methodism_sentence_39

Whitefield, who had been a fellow student of the Wesleys at Oxford, became well known for his unorthodox, itinerant ministry, in which he was dedicated to open-air preaching—reaching crowds of thousands. Methodism_sentence_40

A key step in the development of John Wesley's ministry was, like Whitefield, to preach in fields, collieries and churchyards to those who did not regularly attend parish church services. Methodism_sentence_41

Accordingly, many Methodist converts were those disconnected from the Church of England; Wesley remained a cleric of the Established Church and insisted that Methodists attend their local parish church as well as Methodist meetings. Methodism_sentence_42

Faced with growing evangelistic and pastoral responsibilities, Wesley and Whitefield appointed lay preachers and leaders. Methodism_sentence_43

Methodist preachers focused particularly on evangelising people who had been "neglected" by the established Church of England. Methodism_sentence_44

Wesley and his assistant preachers organised the new converts into Methodist societies. Methodism_sentence_45

These societies were divided into groups called classes—intimate meetings where individuals were encouraged to confess their sins to one another and to build each other up. Methodism_sentence_46

They also took part in love feasts which allowed for the sharing of testimony, a key feature of early Methodism. Methodism_sentence_47

Growth in numbers and increasing hostility impressed upon the revival converts a deep sense of their corporate identity. Methodism_sentence_48

Three teachings that Methodists saw as the foundation of Christian faith were: Methodism_sentence_49


  1. People are all, by nature, "dead in sin".Methodism_item_0_0
  2. They are "justified by faith alone"Methodism_item_0_1
  3. Faith produces inward and outward holiness.Methodism_item_0_2

Wesley's organisational skills soon established him as the primary leader of the movement. Methodism_sentence_50

Whitefield was a Calvinist, whereas Wesley was an outspoken opponent of the doctrine of predestination. Methodism_sentence_51

Wesley argued (against Calvinist doctrine) that Christians could enjoy a second blessing—entire sanctification (Christian perfection) in this life: loving God and their neighbours, meekness and lowliness of heart and abstaining from all appearance of evil. Methodism_sentence_52

These differences put strains on the alliance between Whitefield and Wesley, with Wesley becoming quite hostile toward Whitefield in what had been previously very close relations. Methodism_sentence_53

Whitefield consistently begged Wesley not to let theological differences sever their friendship and, in time their friendship was restored, though this was seen by many of Whitefield's followers to be a doctrinal compromise. Methodism_sentence_54

Many clergy in the established church feared that new doctrines promulgated by the Methodists, such as the necessity of a new birth for salvation—the first work of grace, of justification by faith and of the constant and sustained action of the Holy Spirit upon the believer's soul, would produce ill effects upon weak minds. Methodism_sentence_55

Theophilus Evans, an early critic of the movement, even wrote that it was "the natural Tendency of their Behaviour, in Voice and Gesture and horrid Expressions, to make People mad". Methodism_sentence_56

In one of his prints, William Hogarth likewise attacked Methodists as "enthusiasts" full of "Credulity, Superstition, and Fanaticism". Methodism_sentence_57

Other attacks against the Methodists were physically violent—Wesley was nearly murdered by a mob at Wednesbury in 1743. Methodism_sentence_58

The Methodists responded vigorously to their critics and thrived despite the attacks against them. Methodism_sentence_59

Initially, the Methodists merely sought reform within the Church of England (Anglicanism), but the movement gradually departed from that Church. Methodism_sentence_60

George Whitefield's preference for extemporaneous prayer rather than the fixed forms of prayer in the Book of Common Prayer, in addition to his insistence on the necessity of the New Birth, set him at odds with Anglican clergy. Methodism_sentence_61

As Methodist societies multiplied, and elements of an ecclesiastical system were, one after another, adopted, the breach between John Wesley and the Church of England gradually widened. Methodism_sentence_62

In 1784, Wesley responded to the shortage of priests in the American colonies due to the American Revolutionary War by ordaining preachers for America with power to administer the sacraments. Methodism_sentence_63

This was a major reason for Methodism's final split from the Church of England after Wesley's death. Methodism_sentence_64

This split created a separate, eventually worldwide, group of church denominations. Methodism_sentence_65

With regard to the position of Methodism within Christendom, "John Wesley once noted that what God had achieved in the development of Methodism was no mere human endeavor but the work of God. Methodism_sentence_66

As such it would be preserved by God so long as history remained." Methodism_sentence_67

Calling it "the grand depositum" of the Methodist faith, Wesley specifically taught that the propagation of the doctrine of entire sanctification was the reason that God raised up the Methodists in the world. Methodism_sentence_68

The influence of Whitefield and Lady Huntingdon on the Church of England was a factor in the founding of the Free Church of England in 1844. Methodism_sentence_69

At the time of Wesley's death there were over 500 Methodist preachers in British colonies and the United States. Methodism_sentence_70

Total membership of the Methodist societies in Britain was recorded as 56,000 in 1791, rising to 360,000 in 1836 and 1,463,000 by the national census of 1851. Methodism_sentence_71

Early Methodism experienced a radical and spiritual phase that allowed women authority in church leadership. Methodism_sentence_72

The role of the woman preacher emerged from the sense that the home should be a place of community care and should foster personal growth. Methodism_sentence_73

Methodist women formed a community that cared for the vulnerable, extending the role of mothering beyond physical care. Methodism_sentence_74

Women were encouraged to testify their faith. Methodism_sentence_75

However the centrality of women's role sharply diminished after 1790 as Methodist churches became more structured and more male dominated. Methodism_sentence_76

The Wesleyan Education Committee, which existed from 1838 to 1902, has documented the Methodist Church's involvement in the education of children. Methodism_sentence_77

At first most effort was placed in creating Sunday Schools but in 1836 the British Methodist Conference gave its blessing to the creation of "Weekday schools". Methodism_sentence_78

Methodism spread throughout the British Empire and, mostly through Whitefield's preaching during what historians call the First Great Awakening, in colonial America. Methodism_sentence_79

After Whitefield's death in 1770, however, American Methodism entered a more lasting Wesleyan and Arminian phase of development. Methodism_sentence_80

Theology Methodism_section_1

Main article: Wesleyan theology Methodism_sentence_81

Many Methodist bodies, such as the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the United Methodist Church, base their doctrinal standards on Wesley's Articles of Religion, an abridgment of the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England that excised its Calvinist features. Methodism_sentence_82

Some Methodist denominations also publish catechisms, which concisely summarise Christian doctrine. Methodism_sentence_83

Methodists generally accept the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed as declarations of shared Christian faith. Methodism_sentence_84

Methodism also affirms the traditional Christian belief in the triune Godhead: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as well as the orthodox understanding of the consubstantial humanity and divinity of Jesus Christ. Methodism_sentence_85

Methodism emphasises doctrines that indicate the power of the Holy Spirit to strengthen the faith of believers and to transform their personal lives. Methodism_sentence_86

Methodism is broadly evangelical in doctrine and is characterized by WesleyanArminian theology. Methodism_sentence_87

John Wesley is studied by Methodists for his interpretation of church practice and doctrine. Methodism_sentence_88

At its heart, the theology of John Wesley stressed the life of Christian holiness: to love God with all one's heart, mind, soul and strength and to love one's neighbour as oneself. Methodism_sentence_89

One popular expression of Methodist doctrine is in the hymns of Charles Wesley. Methodism_sentence_90

Since enthusiastic singing was a part of the early evangelical movement, Wesleyan theology took root and spread through this channel. Methodism_sentence_91

Salvation Methodism_section_2

Wesleyan Methodists identify with the Arminian conception of free will, as opposed to the theological determinism of absolute predestination. Methodism_sentence_92

Methodism teaches that salvation is initiated when one chooses to respond to God, who draws the individual near to him (the Wesleyan doctrine of prevenient grace), thus teaching synergism. Methodism_sentence_93

Methodists interpret Scripture as teaching that the saving work of Jesus Christ is for all people (unlimited atonement) but effective only to those who respond and believe, in accordance with the Reformation principles of sola gratia (grace alone) and sola fide (faith alone). Methodism_sentence_94

John Wesley taught four key points fundamental to Methodism: Methodism_sentence_95


  1. A person is free not only to reject salvation but also to accept it by an act of free will.Methodism_item_1_3
  2. All people who are obedient to the gospel according to the measure of knowledge given them will be saved.Methodism_item_1_4
  3. The Holy Spirit assures a Christian that they are justified by faith in Jesus (assurance of faith).Methodism_item_1_5
  4. Christians in this life are capable of Christian perfection and are commanded by God to pursue it.Methodism_item_1_6

After the first work of grace (the new birth), Methodist soteriology emphasizes the importance of the pursuit of holiness in salvation, a concept best summarized in a quote by Methodist evangelist Phoebe Palmer who stated that "justification would have ended with me had I refused to be holy." Methodism_sentence_96

Thus, for Methodists, "true faith...cannot subsist without works". Methodism_sentence_97

Methodism, inclusive of the holiness movement, thus teaches that "justification [is made] conditional on obedience and progress in sanctification", emphasizing "a deep reliance upon Christ not only in coming to faith, but in remaining in the faith". Methodism_sentence_98

John Wesley taught that the keeping of the moral law contained in the Ten Commandments, as well as engaging in the works of piety and the works of mercy, were "indispensable for our sanctification". Methodism_sentence_99

If a person backslides but later decides to return to God, he or she must confess his or her sins and be entirely sanctified again (see conditional security). Methodism_sentence_100

Sacraments Methodism_section_3

Methodists hold that sacraments are sacred acts of divine institution. Methodism_sentence_101

Methodism has inherited its liturgy from Anglicanism, although American Methodist theology tends to have a stronger "sacramental emphasis" than that held by Evangelical Anglicans. Methodism_sentence_102

In common with most Protestants, Methodists recognise two sacraments as being instituted by Christ: Baptism and Holy Communion (also called the "Lord's Supper", rarely the "Eucharist"). Methodism_sentence_103

Most Methodist churches practice infant baptism, in anticipation of a response to be made later (confirmation), as well as believer's baptism. Methodism_sentence_104

The Catechism for the use of the people called Methodists states that, "[in Holy Communion] Jesus Christ is present with his worshipping people and gives himself to them as their Lord and Saviour". Methodism_sentence_105

The explanation of how Christ's presence is made manifest in the elements (bread and wine) is a "Holy Mystery". Methodism_sentence_106

Methodist churches generally recognise sacraments to be a means of grace. Methodism_sentence_107

John Wesley held that God also imparted grace by other established means such as public and private prayer, Scripture reading, study and preaching, public worship, and fasting. Methodism_sentence_108

These constitute the Works of Piety. Methodism_sentence_109

Wesley considered means of grace to be "outward signs, words, or actions ... to be the ordinary channels whereby [God] might convey to men, preventing [i.e., preparing], justifying or sanctifying grace". Methodism_sentence_110

Specifically Methodist means, such as the class meetings, provided his chief examples for these prudential means of grace. Methodism_sentence_111

Sources of teaching Methodism_section_4

Further information: Wesleyan Quadrilateral and Prima scriptura Methodism_sentence_112

Traditionally, Methodists declare the Bible (Old and New Testaments) to be the only divinely inspired Scripture and the primary source of authority for Christians. Methodism_sentence_113

The historic Methodist understanding of Scripture is based on the superstructure of Wesleyan covenant theology. Methodism_sentence_114

Methodists, stemming from John Wesley's own practices of theological reflection, also make use of tradition, drawing primarily from the teachings of the Church Fathers, as a source of authority. Methodism_sentence_115

Though not infallible like holy Scripture, tradition may serve as a lens through which Scripture is interpreted. Methodism_sentence_116

Theological discourse for Methodists almost always makes use of Scripture read inside the wider theological tradition of Christianity. Methodism_sentence_117

It is a historical position of the church that any disciplined theological work calls for the careful use of reason. Methodism_sentence_118

By reason, it is said, one reads and is able to interpret the Bible coherently and consistently. Methodism_sentence_119

By reason, one asks questions of faith and seeks to understand God's action and will. Methodism_sentence_120

Methodism insists that personal salvation always implies Christian mission and service to the world. Methodism_sentence_121

Scriptural holiness entails more than personal piety; love of God is always linked with love of neighbours and a passion for justice and renewal in the life of the world. Methodism_sentence_122

Prayer, worship and liturgy Methodism_section_5

Early Methodism was known for its "almost monastic rigors, its living by rule, [and] its canonical hours of prayer". Methodism_sentence_123

It inherited from its Anglican patrimony the rubrics of reciting the Daily Office, which Methodist Christians were expected to pray. Methodism_sentence_124

The first prayer book of Methodism, The Sunday Service of the Methodists with other occasional Services thus included the canonical hours of both Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer; these two fixed prayer times were observed everyday in early Christianity, individually on weekdays and corporately on the Lord's Day. Methodism_sentence_125

Later Methodist liturgical books, such as the Methodist Worship Book (1999) provide for Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer to be prayed daily; the United Methodist Church encourages its communicants to pray the canonical hours as "one of the essential practices" of being a disciple of Jesus. Methodism_sentence_126

Some Methodist religious orders publish the Daily Office to be used for that community, for example, The Book of Offices and Services of The Order of Saint Luke contains the canonical hours to be prayed traditionally at seven fixed prayer times: Lauds (6 am), Terce (9 am), Sext (12 pm), None (3 pm), Vespers (6 pm), Compline (9 pm) and Vigil (12 am). Methodism_sentence_127

With respect to public worship, Methodism was endowed by the Wesley brothers with worship characterised by a twofold practice: the ritual liturgy of the Book of Common Prayer on the one hand and the informal preaching service on the other. Methodism_sentence_128

This twofold practice became distinctive of Methodism because worship in the Church of England was based, by law, solely on the Book of Common Prayer and worship in the Non-conformist churches was almost exclusively that of "services of the word", i.e. preaching services, with Holy Communion being observed infrequently. Methodism_sentence_129

John Wesley's influence meant that, in Methodism, the two practices were combined, a situation which remains characteristic of the denomination. Methodism_sentence_130

The Lovefeast, traditionally practiced quarterly, was another practice that characterized early Methodism as John Wesley taught that it was an apostolic ordinance. Methodism_sentence_131

In America, the United Methodist Church and Free Methodist Church, as well as the Primitive Methodist Church and Wesleyan Methodist Church, have a wide variety of forms of worship, ranging from high church to low church in liturgical usage. Methodism_sentence_132

When the Methodists in America were separated from the Church of England because of the American Revolution, John Wesley himself provided a revised version of the Book of Common Prayer called The Sunday Service of the Methodists; With Other Occasional Services (1784). Methodism_sentence_133

Today, the primary liturgical books of the United Methodist Church are The United Methodist Hymnal and The United Methodist Book of Worship (1992). Methodism_sentence_134

Congregations employ its liturgy and rituals as optional resources, but their use is not mandatory. Methodism_sentence_135

These books contain the liturgies of the church that are generally derived from Wesley's Sunday Service and from the 20th-century liturgical renewal movement. Methodism_sentence_136

The British Methodist Church is less ordered or liturgical in worship, but makes use of the Methodist Worship Book (similar to the Church of England's Common Worship), containing worship services (liturgies) and rubrics for the celebration of other rites, such as marriage. Methodism_sentence_137

The Worship Book is also ultimately derived from Wesley's Sunday Service. Methodism_sentence_138

A unique feature of American Methodism has been the observance of the season of Kingdomtide, encompassing the last 13 weeks before Advent, thus dividing the long season after Pentecost into two distinct segments. Methodism_sentence_139

During Kingdomtide, Methodist liturgy has traditionally emphasised charitable work and alleviating the suffering of the poor. Methodism_sentence_140

A second distinctive liturgical feature of Methodism is the use of Covenant Services. Methodism_sentence_141

Although practice varies between different national churches, most Methodist churches annually follow the call of John Wesley for a renewal of their covenant with God. Methodism_sentence_142

It is common, at least in British Methodism, for each congregation to normally hold an annual Covenant Service on the first convenient Sunday of the year, and Wesley's covenant prayer is still used, with minor modification, in the order of service: Methodism_sentence_143

As John Wesley advocated outdoor evangelism, revival services are a traditional worship practice of Methodism that are often held in churches, as well as at camp meetings and at tent revivals. Methodism_sentence_144

Lifestyle Methodism_section_6

Main article: Outward holiness Methodism_sentence_145

Early Methodists wore plain dress, with Methodist clergy condemning "high headdresses, ruffles, laces, gold, and 'costly apparel' in general". Methodism_sentence_146

John Wesley recommended that Methodists annually read his thoughts On Dress; in that sermon, John Wesley expressed his desire for Methodists: "Let me see, before I die, a Methodist congregation, full as plain dressed as a Quaker congregation". Methodism_sentence_147

The 1858 Discipline of the Wesleyan Methodist Connection thus stated that "we would ... enjoin on all who fear God plain dress". Methodism_sentence_148

Peter Cartwright, a Methodist revivalist, stated that in addition to wearing plain dress, the early Methodists distinguished themselves from other members of society by fasting once a week, abstaining from alcohol (teetotalism), and devoutly observing the Sabbath. Methodism_sentence_149

Methodist circuit riders were known for practicing the spiritual discipline of mortifying the flesh as they "arose well before dawn for solitary prayer; they remained on their knees without food or drink or physical comforts sometimes for hours on end". Methodism_sentence_150

The early Methodists did not participate in, and condemned, "worldly habits" including "playing cards, racing horses, gambling, attending the theater, dancing (both in frolics and balls), and cockfighting". Methodism_sentence_151

Over time, many of these practices were gradually relaxed in mainline Methodism, although practices such as teetotalism and fasting are still very much encouraged, in addition to the current prohibition of gambling; denominations of the conservative holiness movement, such as the Allegheny Wesleyan Methodist Connection and Bible Methodist Connection of Churches, continue to reflect the spirit of the historic Methodist practice of wearing plain dress, encouraging members in "abstaining from the wearing of extravagant hairstyles, jewelry—to include rings, and expensive clothing for any reason". Methodism_sentence_152

The General Rules of the Methodist Church in America, which are among the doctrinal standards of many Methodist Churches, promote first-day Sabbatarianism as they require "attending upon all the ordinances of God" including "the public worship of God" and prohibit "profaning the day of the Lord, either by doing ordinary work therein or by buying or selling". Methodism_sentence_153

Contemporary Methodism Methodism_section_7

See also: List of Methodist denominations Methodism_sentence_154

Today, millions belong to Methodist churches, which are present on all populated continents. Methodism_sentence_155

Although Methodism is declining in Great Britain and North America, it is growing in other places; at a rapid pace in, for example, South Korea. Methodism_sentence_156

There is no single Methodist Church with universal juridical authority; Methodists belong to multiple independent denominations or "connexions". Methodism_sentence_157

The great majority of Methodists are members of denominations which are part of the international World Methodist Council, an association of 80 Methodist, Wesleyan and related united and uniting churches, representing over 80 million people. Methodism_sentence_158

In 1956, the World Methodist Council established a permanent headquarters in the United States at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. Methodism_sentence_159

Europe Methodism_section_8

Methodism is prevalent in the English-speaking world but it is also organised in mainland Europe, largely due to missionary activity of British and American Methodists. Methodism_sentence_160

British missionaries were primarily responsible for establishing Methodism across Ireland and Italy. Methodism_sentence_161

Today the United Methodist Church (UMC)—a large denomination based in the United States—has a presence in Albania, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, and Ukraine. Methodism_sentence_162

Collectively the European and Eurasian regions of the UMC constitute over 100,000 Methodists. Methodism_sentence_163

Other smaller Methodist denominations exist in Europe. Methodism_sentence_164

Great Britain Methodism_section_9

Further information: Methodist Church of Great Britain and Independent Methodist Connexion Methodism_sentence_165

The original body founded as a result of Wesley's work came to be known as the Wesleyan Methodist Church. Methodism_sentence_166

Schisms within the original Church, and independent revivals, led to the formation of a number of separate denominations calling themselves "Methodist". Methodism_sentence_167

The largest of these were the Primitive Methodist church, deriving from a revival at Mow Cop in Staffordshire, the Bible Christians and the Methodist New Connexion. Methodism_sentence_168

The original church became known as the Wesleyan Methodist Church to distinguish it from these bodies. Methodism_sentence_169

In 1907, a union of smaller groups with the Methodist New Connexion and Bible Christian Church brought about the United Methodist Church (Great Britain), then the three major streams of British Methodism united in 1932 to form the current Methodist Church of Great Britain. Methodism_sentence_170

The fourth-largest denomination in the country, the Methodist Church of Great Britain has about 202,000 members in 4,650 congregations. Methodism_sentence_171

Early Methodism was particularly prominent in Devon and Cornwall, which were key centers of activity by the Bible Christian faction of Methodists. Methodism_sentence_172

The Bible Christians produced many preachers, and sent many missionaries to Australia. Methodism_sentence_173

Methodism also grew rapidly in the old mill towns of Yorkshire and Lancashire, where the preachers stressed that the working classes were equal to the upper classes in the eyes of God. Methodism_sentence_174

In Wales, three elements separately welcomed Methodism: Welsh-speaking, English-speaking, and Calvinistic. Methodism_sentence_175

British Methodists, in particular the Primitive Methodists, took a leading role in the temperance movement of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Methodism_sentence_176

Methodists saw alcoholic beverages, and alcoholism, as the root of many social ills and tried to persuade people to abstain from these. Methodism_sentence_177

Temperance appealed strongly to the Methodist doctrines of sanctification and perfection. Methodism_sentence_178

To this day, alcohol remains banned in Methodist premises, however this restriction no longer applies to domestic occasions in private homes (i.e. the minister may have a drink at home in the manse). Methodism_sentence_179

The choice to consume alcohol is now a personal decision for any member. Methodism_sentence_180

British Methodism does not have bishops; however, it has always been characterised by a strong central organisation, the Connexion, which holds an annual Conference (note that the Church retains the 18th-century spelling connexion for many purposes). Methodism_sentence_181

The Connexion is divided into Districts in the charge of the Chair (who may be male or female). Methodism_sentence_182

Methodist districts often correspond approximately, in geographical terms, to counties—as do Church of England dioceses. Methodism_sentence_183

The districts are divided into circuits governed by the Circuit Meeting and led and administrated principally by a superintendent minister. Methodism_sentence_184

Ministers are appointed to Circuits rather than to individual churches, although some large inner-city churches, known as "central halls", are designated as circuits in themselves—of these Westminster Central Hall, opposite Westminster Abbey in central London, is the best known. Methodism_sentence_185

Most circuits have fewer ministers than churches, and the majority of services are led by lay local preachers, or by supernumerary ministers (ministers who have retired, called supernumerary because they are not counted for official purposes in the numbers of ministers for the circuit in which they are listed). Methodism_sentence_186

The superintendent and other ministers are assisted in the leadership and administration of the Circuit by Circuit Stewards, lay people who may have particular skills who collectively with the ministers form what is normally known as the Circuit Leadership Team. Methodism_sentence_187

The Methodist Council also helps to run a number of schools, including two public schools in East Anglia: Culford School and the Leys School. Methodism_sentence_188

It helps to promote an all round education with a strong Christian ethos. Methodism_sentence_189

Other Methodist denominations in Britain include: The Salvation Army, founded by Methodist minister William Booth in 1865; the Free Methodist Church, a holiness church; the Church of the Nazarene; the Wesleyan Reform Union, an early secession from the Wesleyan Methodist Church; and the Independent Methodist Connexion. Methodism_sentence_190

Ireland Methodism_section_10

John Wesley visited Ireland on at least twenty-four occasions and established classes and societies. Methodism_sentence_191

The Methodist Church in Ireland (Irish: Eaglais Mheitidisteach in Éirinn) today operates across both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland on an all-Ireland basis. Methodism_sentence_192

As of 2013 there are around 50,000 Methodists across Ireland. Methodism_sentence_193

The biggest concentration–13,171–is in Belfast, with 2,614 in Dublin. Methodism_sentence_194

As of 2011 it is the fourth-largest denomination in Northern Ireland, with Methodists accounting for 3 percent of the population. Methodism_sentence_195

Eric Gallagher was the President of the Church in the 1970s, becoming a well-known figure in Irish politics. Methodism_sentence_196

He was one of the group of Protestant churchmen who met with Provisional IRA officers in Feakle, County Clare to try to broker peace. Methodism_sentence_197

The meeting was unsuccessful due to a Garda raid on the hotel. Methodism_sentence_198

Italy Methodism_section_11

The Italian Methodist Church (Italian: Chiesa Metodista Italiana) is a small Protestant community in Italy, with around 7,000 members. Methodism_sentence_199

Since 1975 it is in a formal covenant of partnership with the Waldensian Church, with a total of 45,000 members. Methodism_sentence_200

Waldensians are a Protestant movement which started in Lyon, France, in the late 1170s. Methodism_sentence_201

Italian Methodism has its origins in the Italian Free Church, British Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society, and the American Methodist Episcopal Mission. Methodism_sentence_202

These movements flowered in the second half of the 19th century in the new climate of political and religious freedom that was established with the end of the Papal States and unification of Italy in 1870. Methodism_sentence_203

Bertrand M. Tipple, minister of the American Methodist Church in Rome, founded a college there in 1914. Methodism_sentence_204

In April 2016 the World Methodist Council opened an Ecumenical Office in Rome. Methodism_sentence_205

Methodist leaders and the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, jointly dedicated the new office. Methodism_sentence_206

It helps facilitate Methodist relationships with the wider Church, especially the Roman Catholic Church. Methodism_sentence_207

Nordic and Baltic countries Methodism_section_12

The "Nordic and Baltic Area" of the United Methodist Church covers the Nordic countries (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland) and the Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania). Methodism_sentence_208

Methodism was introduced to the Nordic countries in the late 19th century. Methodism_sentence_209

Today the United Methodist Church in Norway (Norwegian: Metodistkirken) is the largest church in the region with 10,684 members in total (as of 2013). Methodism_sentence_210

France Methodism_section_13

The French Methodist movement was founded in the 1820s by Charles Cook in the village of Congénies in Languedoc near Nîmes and Montpellier. Methodism_sentence_211

The most important chapel of department was built in 1869, where there had been a Quaker community since the 18th century. Methodism_sentence_212

Sixteen Methodist congregations voted to join the Reformed Church of France in 1938. Methodism_sentence_213

In the 1980s, missionary work of a Methodist church in Agen led to new initiatives in Fleurance and Mont de Marsan. Methodism_sentence_214

Methodism exists today in France under various names. Methodism_sentence_215

The best-known is the Union of Evangelical Methodist Churches (French: l'Union de l'Eglise Evangélique Méthodiste) or UEEM. Methodism_sentence_216

It is an autonomous regional conference of the United Methodist Church and is the fruit of a fusion in 2005 between the "Methodist Church of France" and the "Union of Methodist Churches". Methodism_sentence_217

As of 2014, the UEEM has around 1,200 members and 30 ministers. Methodism_sentence_218

Germany Methodism_section_14

The Protestant-Methodist Church (German: Evangelisch-methodistische Kirche) is the name of the United Methodist Church in Germany and Austria. Methodism_sentence_219

The German church had about 52,031 members in 2015. Methodism_sentence_220

Members are organised into three conferences: north, east and south. Methodism_sentence_221

Methodism is most prevalent in southern Saxony and around Stuttgart. Methodism_sentence_222

British Methodist missionaries introduced Methodism to Germany in 1830, initially in the region of Württemberg. Methodism_sentence_223

In 1859, the first Methodist minister arrived in Württemberg. Methodism_sentence_224

Methodism was also spread in Germany through the missionary work of the American Methodist Episcopal Church, which began in 1849 in Bremen, soon spreading to Saxony. Methodism_sentence_225

Early opposition towards Methodism was partly rooted in theological differences—northern and eastern regions of Germany were predominantly Lutheran and Reformed, and Methodists were dismissed as fanatics. Methodism_sentence_226

Methodism was also hindered by its unfamiliar church structure (Connectionalism or Konnexionalismus), which was more centralised than the hierarchical polity in the Lutheran and Reformed churches. Methodism_sentence_227

After World War I, the 1919 Weimar Constitution allowed Methodists to worship freely and many new chapels were established. Methodism_sentence_228

In 1936, German Methodists elected their first bishop. Methodism_sentence_229

Hungary Methodism_section_15

The first Methodist mission in Hungary was established in 1898 in Bácska, in a then mostly German-speaking town of Verbász (since 1918 part of the Serbian province of Vojvodina). Methodism_sentence_230

In 1905 a Methodist mission was established also in Budapest. Methodism_sentence_231

In 1974, a group later known as the Hungarian Evangelical Fellowship seceded from the Hungarian Methodist Church over the question of interference by the communist state. Methodism_sentence_232

As of 2017, the United Methodist Church in Hungary, known locally as the Hungarian Methodist Church (Hungarian: ), has 453 professing members in 30 congregations. Methodism_sentence_233

It runs two student homes, two homes for the elderly, the Forray Methodist High School, the Wesley Scouts and the Methodist Library and Archives. Methodism_sentence_234

The church has a special ministry among the Roma. Methodism_sentence_235

The seceding Hungarian Evangelical Fellowship (Magyarországi Evangéliumi Testvérközösség) also remains Methodist in its organisation and theology. Methodism_sentence_236

It has eight full congregations and several mission groups, and runs a range of charitable organisations: hostels and soup kitchens for the homeless, a non-denominational theological college, a dozen schools of various kinds, and four old people's homes. Methodism_sentence_237

Today there are a dozen Methodist/Wesleyan churches and mission organisations in Hungary, but all Methodist churches lost official church status under new legislation passed in 2011, when the number of officially recognised churches in the country fell to 14. Methodism_sentence_238

However, the list of recognised churches was lengthened to 32 at the end of February 2012. Methodism_sentence_239

This gave recognition to Hungarian Methodist Church and the Salvation Army, which was banned in Hungary in 1949 but had returned in 1990, but not to the Hungarian Evangelical Fellowship. Methodism_sentence_240

The legislation has been strongly criticised by the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe as discriminatory. Methodism_sentence_241

The Hungarian Methodist Church, the Salvation Army and the Church of the Nazarene and other Wesleyan groups formed the Wesley Theological Alliance for theological and publishing purposes in 1998. Methodism_sentence_242

Today the Alliance has 10 Wesleyan member churches and organisations. Methodism_sentence_243

The Hungarian Evangelical Fellowship does not belong to it and has its own publishing arm. Methodism_sentence_244

Russia Methodism_section_16

The Methodist Church established several strongholds in Russia—Saint Petersburg in the west and the Vladivostok region in the east, with big Methodist centres right in the middle, in Moscow and Ekaterinburg (former Sverdlovsk). Methodism_sentence_245

Methodists began their work in the west among Swedish immigrants in 1881 and started their work in the east in 1910. Methodism_sentence_246

On 26 June 2009, Methodists celebrated the 120th year since Methodism arrived in Czarist Russia by erecting a new Methodist centre in Saint Petersburg. Methodism_sentence_247

A Methodist presence was continued in Russia for 14 years after the Russian Revolution of 1917 through the efforts of Deaconess Anna Eklund. Methodism_sentence_248

In 1939, political antagonism stymied the work of the Church and Deaconess Anna Eklund was coerced to return to her native Finland. Methodism_sentence_249

After 1989, the Soviet Union allowed greatly increased religious freedoms and this continued after the USSR's collapse in 1991. Methodism_sentence_250

During the 1990s, Methodism experienced a powerful wave of revival in the nation. Methodism_sentence_251

Three sites in particular carried the torch—Samara, Moscow and Ekaterinburg. Methodism_sentence_252

As of 2011, the United Methodist Church in Eurasia comprised 116 congregations, each with a native pastor. Methodism_sentence_253

There are currently 48 students enrolled in residential and extension degree programs at the United Methodist Seminary in Moscow. Methodism_sentence_254

Caribbean Methodism_section_17

Methodism came to the Caribbean in 1760 when the planter, lawyer and Speaker of the Antiguan House of Assembly, Nathaniel Gilbert (c. 1719–1774), returned to his sugar estate home in Antigua. Methodism_sentence_255

A Methodist revival spread in the British West Indies due to the work of British missionaries. Methodism_sentence_256

Missionaries established societies which would later become the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas (MCCA). Methodism_sentence_257

The MCCA has about 62,000 members in over 700 congregations, ministered by 168 pastors. Methodism_sentence_258

There are smaller Methodist denominations that have seceded from the parent church. Methodism_sentence_259

Antigua Methodism_section_18

The story is often told that in 1755, Nathaniel Gilbert, while convalescing, read a treatise of John Wesley, An Appeal to Men of Reason and Religion sent to him by his brother Francis. Methodism_sentence_260

As a result of having read this book Gilbert, two years later, journeyed to England with three of his slaves and there in a drawing room meeting arranged in Wandsworth on 15 January 1759, met the preacher John Wesley. Methodism_sentence_261

He returned to the Caribbean that same year and on his subsequent return began to preach to his slaves in Antigua. Methodism_sentence_262

When Nathaniel Gilbert died in 1774 his work in Antigua was continued by his brother Francis Gilbert to approximately 200 Methodists. Methodism_sentence_263

However, within a year Francis took ill and had to return to Britain and the work was carried on by Sophia Campbell ("a Negress") and Mary Alley ("a Mulatto"), two devoted women who kept the flock together with class and prayer meetings as best as they could. Methodism_sentence_264

On 2 April 1778, John Baxter, a local preacher and skilled shipwright from Chatham in Kent, England, landed at English harbour in Antigua (now called Nelson's Dockyard) where he was offered a post at the naval dockyard. Methodism_sentence_265

Baxter was a Methodist and had heard of the work of the Gilberts and their need for a new preacher. Methodism_sentence_266

He began preaching and meeting with the Methodist leaders, and within a year the Methodist community had grown to 600 persons. Methodism_sentence_267

By 1783, the first Methodist chapel was built in Antigua, with John Baxter as the local preacher, its wooden structure seating some 2,000 people. Methodism_sentence_268

St. Bart's Methodism_section_19

In 1785, William Turton (1761–1817) a Barbadian son of a planter, met John Baxter in Antigua, and later, as layman, assisted in the Methodist work in the Swedish colony of St. Bartholomew from 1796. Methodism_sentence_269

In 1786 the missionary endeavour in the Caribbean was officially recognised by the Conference in England, and that same year Thomas Coke, having been made Superintendent of the church two years previously in America by Wesley, was travelling to Nova Scotia, but weather forced his ship to Antigua. Methodism_sentence_270

Jamaica Methodism_section_20

In 1818 Edward Fraser (1798 – Aft. Methodism_sentence_271

1850), a privileged Barbadian slave, moved to Bermuda and subsequently met the new minister James Dunbar. Methodism_sentence_272

The Nova Scotia Methodist Minister noted young Fraser's sincerity and commitment to his congregation and encouraged him by appointing him as assistant. Methodism_sentence_273

By 1827 Fraser assisted in building a new chapel. Methodism_sentence_274

He was later freed and admitted to the Methodist Ministry to serve in Antigua and Jamaica. Methodism_sentence_275

Barbados Methodism_section_21

Following William J. Shrewsbury's preaching in the 1820s, Sarah Ann Gill (1779–1866), a free-born black woman, used civil disobedience in an attempt to thwart magistrate rulings that prevented parishioners holding prayer meetings. Methodism_sentence_276

In hopes of building a new chapel, she paid an extraordinary £1,700-0s–0d and ended up having militia appointed by the Governor to protect her home from demolition. Methodism_sentence_277

In 1884 an attempt was made at autonomy with the formation of two West Indian Conferences, however by 1903 the venture had failed. Methodism_sentence_278

It was not until the 1960s that another attempt was made at autonomy. Methodism_sentence_279

This second attempt resulted in the emergence of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas in May 1967. Methodism_sentence_280

Francis Godson (1864–1953), a Methodist minister, who having served briefly in several of the Caribbean islands, eventually immersed himself in helping those in hardship of the First World War in Barbados. Methodism_sentence_281

He was later appointed to the Legislative Council of Barbados, and fought for the rights of pensioners. Methodism_sentence_282

He was later followed by renowned Barbadian Augustus Rawle Parkinson (1864–1932), who also was the first principal of the Wesley Hall School, Bridgetown in Barbados (which celebrated its 125th anniversary in September 2009). Methodism_sentence_283

In more recent times in Barbados, Victor Alphonso Cooke (born 1930) and Lawrence Vernon Harcourt Lewis (born 1932) are strong influences on the Methodist Church on the island. Methodism_sentence_284

Their contemporary and late member of the Dalkeith Methodist Church, was the former secretary of the University of the West Indies, consultant of the Canadian Training Aid Programme and a man of letters – Francis Woodbine Blackman (1922–2010). Methodism_sentence_285

It was his research and published works that enlightened much of this information on Caribbean Methodism. Methodism_sentence_286

Africa Methodism_section_22

Most Methodist denominations in Africa follow the British Methodist tradition and see the Methodist Church of Great Britain as their mother church. Methodism_sentence_287

Originally modelled on the British structure, since independence most of these churches have adopted an episcopal model. Methodism_sentence_288

Nigeria Methodism_section_23

The Nigerian Methodist Church is one of the largest Methodist denominations in the world and one of the largest Christian churches in Nigeria, with around two million members in 2000 congregations. Methodism_sentence_289

It has seen exponential growth since the turn of the millennium. Methodism_sentence_290

Christianity was established in Nigeria with the arrival in 1842 of a Wesleyan Methodist missionary. Methodism_sentence_291

He had come in response to the request for missionaries by the ex-slaves who returned to Nigeria from Sierra Leone. Methodism_sentence_292

From the mission stations established in Badagry and Abeokuta, the Methodist church spread to various parts of the country west of the River Niger and part of the north. Methodism_sentence_293

In 1893 missionaries of the Primitive Methodist Church arrived from Fernando Po, an island off the southern coast of Nigeria. Methodism_sentence_294

From there the Methodist Church spread to other parts of the country, east of the River Niger and also to parts of the north. Methodism_sentence_295

The church west of the River Niger and part of the north was known as the Western Nigeria District and east of the Niger and another part of the north as the Eastern Nigeria District. Methodism_sentence_296

Both existed independently of each other until 1962 when they constituted the Conference of Methodist Church Nigeria. Methodism_sentence_297

The conference is composed of seven districts. Methodism_sentence_298

The church has continued to spread into new areas and has established a department for evangelism and appointed a director of evangelism. Methodism_sentence_299

An episcopal system adopted in 1976 was not fully accepted by all sections of the church until the two sides came together and resolved to end the disagreement. Methodism_sentence_300

A new constitution was ratified in 1990. Methodism_sentence_301

The system is still episcopal but the points which caused discontent were amended to be acceptable to both sides. Methodism_sentence_302

Today, the Nigerian Methodist Church has a prelate, eight archbishops and 44 bishops. Methodism_sentence_303

Ghana Methodism_section_24

Main article: Methodist Church Ghana Methodism_sentence_304

Methodist Church Ghana is one of the largest Methodist denominations, with around 800,000 members in 2,905 congregations, ministered by 700 pastors. Methodism_sentence_305

It has fraternal links with the British Methodist and United Methodist churches worldwide. Methodism_sentence_306

Methodism in Ghana came into existence as a result of the missionary activities of the Wesleyan Methodist Church, inaugurated with the arrival of Joseph Rhodes Dunwell to the Gold Coast in 1835. Methodism_sentence_307

Like the mother church, the Methodist Church in Ghana was established by people of Protestant background. Methodism_sentence_308

Roman Catholic and Anglican missionaries came to the Gold Coast from the 15th century. Methodism_sentence_309

A school was established in Cape Coast by the Anglicans during the time of Philip Quaque, a Ghanaian priest. Methodism_sentence_310

Those who came out of this school had Bible copies and study supplied by the Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge. Methodism_sentence_311

A member of the resulting Bible study groups, William De-Graft, requested Bibles through Captain Potter of the ship Congo. Methodism_sentence_312

Not only were Bibles sent, but also a Methodist missionary. Methodism_sentence_313

In the first eight years of the Church's life, 11 out of 21 missionaries who worked in the Gold Coast died. Methodism_sentence_314

Thomas Birch Freeman, who arrived at the Gold Coast in 1838 was a pioneer of missionary expansion. Methodism_sentence_315

Between 1838 and 1857 he carried Methodism from the coastal areas to Kumasi in the Asante hinterland of the Gold Coast. Methodism_sentence_316

He also established Methodist Societies in Badagry and AbeoKuta in Nigeria with the assistance of William De-Graft. Methodism_sentence_317

By 1854, the church was organized into circuits constituting a district with T. B. Freeman as chairman. Methodism_sentence_318

Freeman was replaced in 1856 by William West. Methodism_sentence_319

The district was divided and extended to include areas in the then Gold Coast and Nigeria by the synod in 1878, a move confirmed at the British Conference. Methodism_sentence_320

The district were Gold Coast District, with T.R. Methodism_sentence_321

Picot as chairman and Yoruba and Popo District, with John Milum as chairman. Methodism_sentence_322

Methodist evangelisation of northern Gold Coast began in 1910. Methodism_sentence_323

After a long period of conflict with the colonial government, missionary work was established in 1955. Methodism_sentence_324

Paul Adu was the first indigenous missionary to northern Gold Coast. Methodism_sentence_325

In July 1961, the Methodist Church in Ghana became autonomous, and was called the Methodist Church Ghana, based on a deed of foundation, part of the church's Constitution and Standing Orders. Methodism_sentence_326

Southern Africa Methodism_section_25

Main article: Methodist Church of Southern Africa Methodism_sentence_327

The Methodist Church operates across South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland, with a limited presence in Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Methodism_sentence_328

It is a member church of the World Methodist Council. Methodism_sentence_329

Methodism in Southern Africa began as a result of lay Christian work by an Irish soldier of the English Regiment, John Irwin, who was stationed at the Cape and began to hold prayer meetings as early as 1795. Methodism_sentence_330

The first Methodist lay preacher at the Cape, George Middlemiss, was a soldier of the 72nd regiment of the British Army stationed at the Cape in 1805. Methodism_sentence_331

This foundation paved the way for missionary work by Methodist missionary societies from Great Britain, many of whom sent missionaries with the 1820 English settlers to the Western and Eastern Cape. Methodism_sentence_332

Among the most notable of the early missionaries were Barnabas Shaw and William Shaw. Methodism_sentence_333

The largest group was the Wesleyan Methodist Church, but there were a number of others that joined together to form the Methodist Church of South Africa, later known as the Methodist Church of Southern Africa. Methodism_sentence_334

The Methodist Church of Southern Africa is the largest mainline Protestant denomination in South Africa—7.3 percent of the South African population recorded their religious affiliation as 'Methodist' in the last national census. Methodism_sentence_335

Asia Methodism_section_26

China Methodism_section_27

Methodism was brought to China in the autumn of 1847 by the Methodist Episcopal Church. Methodism_sentence_336

The first missionaries sent out were Judson Dwight Collins and Moses Clark White, who sailed from Boston 15 April 1847, and reached Foochow 6 September. Methodism_sentence_337

They were followed by Henry Hickok and Robert Samuel Maclay, who arrived 15 April 1848. Methodism_sentence_338

In 1857 it baptised the first convert in connection with its labours. Methodism_sentence_339

In August 1856, a brick built church, called the "Church of the True God" (真神堂), the first substantial church building erected at Foochow by Protestant Missions, was dedicated to the worship of God. Methodism_sentence_340

In the winter of the same year another brick built church, located on the hill in the suburbs on the south bank of the Min, was finished and dedicated, called the "Church of Heavenly Peace" (天安堂). Methodism_sentence_341

In 1862, the number of members was 87. Methodism_sentence_342

The Foochow Conference was organised by Isaac W. Wiley on 6 December 1867, by which time the number of members and probationers had reached 2,011. Methodism_sentence_343

Hok Chau 周學 (also known as Lai-Tong Chau, 周勵堂) was the first Chinese ordained minister of the South China District of the Methodist Church (incumbent 1877–1916). Methodism_sentence_344

Benjamin Hobson (1816–1873), a medical missionary sent by the London Missionary Society in 1839, set up a highly successful Wai Ai Clinic (惠愛醫館) Liang Fa (Leung Fat in Cantonese, 梁發, 1789–1855, ordained by the London Missionary Society), Hok Chau and others worked there. Methodism_sentence_345

Liang (age 63) baptized Chau (quite young) in 1852. Methodism_sentence_346

The Methodist Church based in Britain sent missionary George Piercy to China. Methodism_sentence_347

In 1851, Piercy went to Guangzhou (Canton), where he worked in a trading company. Methodism_sentence_348

In 1853, he started a church in Guangzhou. Methodism_sentence_349

In 1877, Chau was ordained by the Methodist Church, where he pastored for 39 years. Methodism_sentence_350

In 1867, the mission sent out the first missionaries to Central China, who began work at Kiukiang. Methodism_sentence_351

In 1869 missionaries were also sent to the capital city Peking, where they laid the foundations of the work of the North China Mission. Methodism_sentence_352

In November 1880, the West China Mission was established in Sichuan Province. Methodism_sentence_353

In 1896 the work in the Hinghua prefecture (modern-day Putian) and surrounding regions was also organized as a Mission Conference. Methodism_sentence_354

In 1947, the Methodist Church in the Republic of China celebrated its centenary. Methodism_sentence_355

In 1949, however, the Methodist Church moved to Taiwan with the Kuomintang government. Methodism_sentence_356

On 21 June 1953, Taipei Methodist Church was erected, then local churches and chapels with a baptized membership numbering over 2,500. Methodism_sentence_357

Various types of educational, medical and social services are provided (including Tunghai University). Methodism_sentence_358

In 1972 the Methodist Church in the Republic of China became autonomous and the first bishop was installed in 1986. Methodism_sentence_359

India Methodism_section_28

See also: Church of South India and Methodist Church in India Methodism_sentence_360

Methodism came to India twice, in 1817 and in 1856, according to P. Dayanandan who has done extensive research on the subject. Methodism_sentence_361

Thomas Coke and six other missionaries set sail for India on New Year's Day in 1814. Methodism_sentence_362

Coke, then 66, died en route. Methodism_sentence_363

Rev. Methodism_sentence_364

James Lynch was the one who finally arrived in Madras in 1817 at a place called Black Town (Broadway), later known as George Town. Methodism_sentence_365

Lynch conducted the first Methodist missionary service on 2 March 1817, in a stable. Methodism_sentence_366

The first Methodist church was dedicated in 1819 at Royapettah. Methodism_sentence_367

A chapel at Broadway (Black Town) was later built and dedicated on 25 April 1822. Methodism_sentence_368

This church was rebuilt in 1844 since the earlier structure was collapsing. Methodism_sentence_369

At this time there were about 100 Methodist members in all of Madras, and they were either Europeans or Eurasians (European and Indian descent). Methodism_sentence_370

Among names associated with the founding period of Methodism in India are Elijah Hoole and Thomas Cryer, who came as missionaries to Madras. Methodism_sentence_371

In 1857, the Methodist Episcopal Church started its work in India, and with prominent evangelists like William Taylor the Emmanuel Methodist Church, Vepery, was born in 1874. Methodism_sentence_372

The evangelist James Mills Thoburn established the Thoburn Memorial Church in Calcutta in 1873 and the Calcutta Boys' School in 1877. Methodism_sentence_373

In 1947 the Wesleyan Methodist Church in India merged with Presbyterians, Anglicans and other Protestant churches to form the Church of South India while the American Methodist Church remained affiliated as the Methodist Church in Southern Asia (MCSA) to the mother church in USA- the United Methodist Church until 1981, when by an enabling act the Methodist Church in India (MCI) became an autonomous church in India. Methodism_sentence_374

Today, the Methodist Church in India is governed by the General Conference of the Methodist Church of India headed by six Bishops, with headquarters at Methodist Centre, 21 YMCA Road, Mumbai, India. Methodism_sentence_375

Malaysia and Singapore Methodism_section_29

Main articles: Methodist Church in Malaysia and Methodist Church in Singapore Methodism_sentence_376

Missionaries from Britain, North America, and Australia founded Methodist churches in many Commonwealth countries. Methodism_sentence_377

These are now independent and many of them are stronger than the former "mother" churches. Methodism_sentence_378

In addition to the churches, these missionaries often also founded schools to serve the local community. Methodism_sentence_379

A good example of such schools are the Methodist Boys' School in Kuala Lumpur, Methodist Girls' School and Methodist Boys' School in George Town, and Anglo-Chinese School, Methodist Girls' School, Paya Lebar Methodist Girls School and Fairfield Methodist Schools in Singapore. Methodism_sentence_380

Philippines Methodism_section_30

Main article: United Methodist Church in the Philippines Methodism_sentence_381

See also: Protestantism in the Philippines Methodism_sentence_382

Methodism in the Philippines began shortly after the United States acquired the Philippines in 1898 as a result the Spanish–American War. Methodism_sentence_383

On 21 June 1898, after the Battle of Manila Bay but before the Treaty of Paris, executives of the American Mission Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church expressed their desire to join other Protestant denominations in starting mission work in the islands and to enter into a Comity Agreement that would facilitate the establishment of such missions. Methodism_sentence_384

The first Protestant worship service was conducted on 28 August 1898 by an American military chaplain named George C. Stull. Methodism_sentence_385

Stull was an ordained Methodist minister from the Montana Annual Conference of The Methodist Episcopal Church (later part of the United Methodist Church after 1968). Methodism_sentence_386

Methodist and Wesleyan traditions in the Philippines are shared by three of the largest mainline Protestant churches in the country: The United Methodist Church, Iglesia Evangelica Metodista En Las Islas Filipinas ("Evangelical Methodist Church in the Philippine Islands", abbreviated IEMELIF), and The United Church of Christ in the Philippines. Methodism_sentence_387

There are also evangelical Protestant churches in the country of the Methodist tradition like the Wesleyan Church of the Philippines, Inc. the Free Methodist Church of the Philippines, and the Church of the Nazarene. Methodism_sentence_388

There are also the IEMELIF Reform Movement (IRM), The Wesleyan (Pilgrim Holiness) Church of the Philippines, the Philippine Bible Methodist Church, Inc., the Pentecostal Free Methodist Church, Inc., the Fundamental Christian Methodist Church, The Reformed Methodist Church, Inc., The Methodist Church of the Living Bread, Inc., and the Wesley Evangelical Methodist Church & Mission, Inc. Methodism_sentence_389

There are three Episcopal Areas of the United Methodist Church in the Philippines: the Baguio Episcopal Area, Davao Episcopal Area and Manila Episcopal Area. Methodism_sentence_390

A call for autonomy from groups within the United Methodist Church in the Philippines was discussed at several conferences led mostly by episcopal candidates. Methodism_sentence_391

This led to the establishment of the Ang Iglesia Metodista sa Pilipinas ("The Methodist Church in the Philippines") in 2010, led by Bishop Lito C. Tangonan, George Buenaventura, Chita Milan and Atty. Methodism_sentence_392

Joe Frank E. Zuñiga. Methodism_sentence_393

The group finally declared full autonomy and legal incorporation with the Securities and Exchange Commission was approved on 7 December 2011 with papers held by present procurators. Methodism_sentence_394

It now has 126 local churches in Metro Manila, Palawan, Bataan, Zambales, Pangasinan, Bulacan, Aurora, Nueva Ecija, as well as parts of Pampanga and Cavite. Methodism_sentence_395

Tangonan was consecrated as the denomination's first Presiding Bishop on 17 March 2012. Methodism_sentence_396

South Korea Methodism_section_31

Main article: Korean Methodist Church Methodism_sentence_397

The Korean Methodist Church (KMC) is one of the largest churches in South Korea with around 1.5 million members and 8,306 ministers. Methodism_sentence_398

Methodism in Korea grew out of British and American mission work which began in the late 19th century. Methodism_sentence_399

The first missionary sent out was Robert Samuel Maclay of the Methodist Episcopal Church, who sailed from Japan in 1884 and was given the authority of medical and schooling permission from emperor Gojong. Methodism_sentence_400

The Korean church became fully autonomous in 1930, retaining affiliation with Methodist churches in America and later the United Methodist Church. Methodism_sentence_401

The church experienced rapid growth in membership throughout most of the 20th century—in spite of the Korean War—before stabilizing in the 1990s. Methodism_sentence_402

The KMC is a member of the World Methodist Council and hosted the first Asia Methodist Convention in 2001. Methodism_sentence_403

There are many Korean-language Methodist churches in North America catering to Korean-speaking immigrants, not all of which are named as Methodist. Methodism_sentence_404

Americas Methodism_section_32

Brazil Methodism_section_33

The Methodist Church in Brazil was founded by American missionaries in 1867 after an initial unsuccessful founding in 1835. Methodism_sentence_405

It has grown steadily since, becoming autonomous in 1930. Methodism_sentence_406

In the 1970s it ordained its first woman minister. Methodism_sentence_407

As of 2011, the Brazilian Methodist Church is divided into eight annual conferences with 162,000 members. Methodism_sentence_408

Canada Methodism_section_34

Further information: Methodist Church, Canada and United Church of Canada Methodism_sentence_409

The father of Methodism in Canada was William Black (1760–1834) who began preaching in settlements along the Petitcodiac River of New Brunswick in 1781. Methodism_sentence_410

A few years afterwards, Methodist Episcopal circuit riders from the U.S. Methodism_sentence_411 state of New York began to arrive in Canada West at Niagara, and the north shore of Lake Erie in 1786, and at the Kingston region on the northeast shore of Lake Ontario in the early 1790s. Methodism_sentence_412

At the time the region was part of British North America and became part of Upper Canada after the Constitutional Act of 1791. Methodism_sentence_413

Upper and Lower Canada were both parts of the New York Episcopal Methodist Conference until 1810 when they were transferred to the newly formed Genesee Conference. Methodism_sentence_414

Reverend Major George Neal began to preach in Niagara in October 1786 and was ordained in 1810 by Bishop Philip Asbury, at the Lyons, New York Methodist Conference. Methodism_sentence_415

He was Canada's first saddlebag preacher and travelled from Lake Ontario to Detroit for 50 years preaching the gospel. Methodism_sentence_416

The spread of Methodism in the Canadas was seriously disrupted by the War of 1812 but quickly gained lost ground after the Treaty of Ghent was signed in 1815. Methodism_sentence_417

In 1817 the British Wesleyans arrived in the Canadas from the Maritimes but by 1820 had agreed, with the Episcopal Methodists, to confine their work to Lower Canada (present-day Quebec) while the latter would confine themselves to Upper Canada (present-day Ontario). Methodism_sentence_418

In the summer of 1818, the first place of public worship was erected for the Wesleyan Methodists in York, later Toronto. Methodism_sentence_419

The chapel for the First Methodist Church was built on the corner of King Street and Jordan Street, the entire cost of the building was $250, an amount that took the congregation three years to raise. Methodism_sentence_420

In 1828 Upper Canadian Methodists were permitted by the General Conference in the United States to form an independent Canadian Conference and, in 1833, the Canadian Conference merged with the British Wesleyans to form the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Canada. Methodism_sentence_421

In 1884, most Canadian Methodists were brought under the umbrella of the Methodist Church, Canada. Methodism_sentence_422

During the 19th century, Methodism played a large role in the culture and political affairs of Toronto. Methodism_sentence_423

The city became known for being very puritanical with strict limits on the sale of alcohol and a rigorous enforcement of the Lord's Day Act. Methodism_sentence_424

In 1925, the Methodist Church, Canada and most Presbyterian congregations (then by far the largest Protestant communion in Canada), most Congregational Union of Ontario and Quebec congregations, Union Churches in Western Canada, and the American Presbyterian Church in Montreal merged to form the United Church of Canada. Methodism_sentence_425

In 1968, the Evangelical United Brethren Church's Canadian congregations joined after their American counterparts joined the United Methodist Church. Methodism_sentence_426

Mexico Methodism_section_35

The Methodist Church came to Mexico in 1872, with the arrival of two Methodist commissioners from the United States to observe the possibilities of evangelistic work in México. Methodism_sentence_427

In December 1872, Bishop Gilbert Haven arrived to Mexico City, and he was ordered by M. D. William Butler to go to México. Methodism_sentence_428

Bishop John C. Keener arrived from the Methodist Episcopal Church, South in January 1873. Methodism_sentence_429

In 1874, M. D. William Butler established the first Protestant Methodist school of México, in Puebla. Methodism_sentence_430

The school was founded under the name "Instituto Metodista Mexicano". Methodism_sentence_431

Today the school is called "Instituto Mexicano Madero". Methodism_sentence_432

It is still a Methodist school, and it is one of the most elite, selective, expensive and prestigious private schools in the country, with two campuses in Puebla State, and one in Oaxaca. Methodism_sentence_433

A few years later the principal of the school created a Methodist university. Methodism_sentence_434

On 18 January 1885, the first Annual Conference of the United Episcopal Church of México was established. Methodism_sentence_435

United States Methodism_section_36

Main article: History of Methodism in the United States Methodism_sentence_436

Wesley came to believe that the New Testament evidence did not leave the power of ordination to the priesthood in the hands of bishops but that other priests could ordain. Methodism_sentence_437

In 1784, he ordained preachers for Scotland, England, and America, with power to administer the sacraments (this was a major reason for Methodism's final split from the Church of England after Wesley's death). Methodism_sentence_438

At that time, Wesley sent Thomas Coke to America. Methodism_sentence_439

Francis Asbury founded the Methodist Episcopal Church at the Baltimore Christmas Conference in 1784; Coke (already ordained in the Church of England) ordained Asbury deacon, elder, and bishop each on three successive days. Methodism_sentence_440

Circuit riders, many of whom were laymen, travelled by horseback to preach the gospel and establish churches in many places. Methodism_sentence_441

One of the most famous circuit riders was Robert Strawbridge who lived in the vicinity of Carroll County, Maryland soon after arriving in the Colonies around 1760. Methodism_sentence_442

The First Great Awakening was a religious movement in the 1730s and 1740s, beginning in New Jersey, then spreading to New England, and eventually south into Virginia and North Carolina. Methodism_sentence_443

The English Methodist preacher George Whitefield played a major role, traveling across the colonies and preaching in a dramatic and emotional style, accepting everyone as his audience. Methodism_sentence_444

The new style of sermons and the way people practiced their faith breathed new life into religion in America. Methodism_sentence_445

People became passionately and emotionally involved in their religion, rather than passively listening to intellectual discourse in a detached manner. Methodism_sentence_446

People began to study the Bible at home. Methodism_sentence_447

The effect was akin to the individualistic trends present in Europe during the Protestant Reformation. Methodism_sentence_448

The Second Great Awakening was a nationwide wave of revivals, from 1790 to 1840. Methodism_sentence_449

In New England, the renewed interest in religion inspired a wave of social activism among Yankees; Methodism grew and established several colleges, notably Boston University. Methodism_sentence_450

In the "burned over district" of western New York, the spirit of revival burned brightly. Methodism_sentence_451

Methodism saw the emergence of a Holiness movement. Methodism_sentence_452

In the west, especially at Cane Ridge, Kentucky and in Tennessee, the revival strengthened the Methodists and the Baptists. Methodism_sentence_453

Methodism grew rapidly in the Second Great Awakening, becoming the nation's largest denomination by 1820. Methodism_sentence_454

From 58,000 members in 1790, it reached 258,000 in 1820 and 1,661,000 in 1860, growing by a factor of 28.6 in 70 years, while the total American population grew by a factor of eight. Methodism_sentence_455

Other denominations also used revivals, but the Methodists grew fastest of all because "they combined popular appeal with efficient organization under the command of missionary bishops." Methodism_sentence_456

Disputes over slavery placed the church in difficulty in the first half of the 19th century, with the northern church leaders fearful of a split with the South, and reluctant to take a stand. Methodism_sentence_457

The Wesleyan Methodist Connexion (later renamed the Wesleyan Methodist Church) and the Free Methodist Churches were formed by staunch abolitionists, and the Free Methodists were especially active in the Underground Railroad, which helped to free the slaves. Methodism_sentence_458

In 1962, the Evangelical Wesleyan Church separated from the Free Methodist Church. Methodism_sentence_459

In 1968 the Wesleyan Methodist Church and Pilgrim Holiness Church merged to form the Wesleyan Church; a significant amount dissented from this decision resulting in the independence of the Allegheny Wesleyan Methodist Connection and the formation of the Bible Methodist Connection of Churches, both of which fall within the conservative holiness movement. Methodism_sentence_460

In a much larger split, in 1845 at Louisville, the churches of the slaveholding states left the Methodist Episcopal Church and formed The Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Methodism_sentence_461

The northern and southern branches were reunited in 1939, when slavery was no longer an issue. Methodism_sentence_462

In this merger also joined the Methodist Protestant Church. Methodism_sentence_463

Some southerners, conservative in theology, opposed the merger, and formed the Southern Methodist Church in 1940. Methodism_sentence_464

The Third Great Awakening from 1858 to 1908 saw enormous growth in Methodist membership, and a proliferation of institutions such as colleges (e.g., Morningside College). Methodism_sentence_465

Methodists were often involved in the Missionary Awakening and the Social Gospel Movement. Methodism_sentence_466

The awakening in so many cities in 1858 started the movement, but in the North it was interrupted by the Civil War. Methodism_sentence_467

In the South, on the other hand, the Civil War stimulated revivals, especially in Lee's army. Methodism_sentence_468

In 1914–1917 many Methodist ministers made strong pleas for world peace. Methodism_sentence_469

President Woodrow Wilson (a Presbyterian), promised "a war to end all wars," using language of a future peace that had been a watchword for the postmillennial movement. Methodism_sentence_470

In the 1930s many Methodists favored isolationist policies. Methodism_sentence_471

Thus in 1936, Methodist Bishop James Baker, of the San Francisco Conference, released a poll of ministers showing 56% opposed warfare. Methodism_sentence_472

However, the Methodist Federation did call for a boycott of Japan, which had invaded China and was disrupting missionary activity there. Methodism_sentence_473

In Chicago, 62 local African Methodist Episcopal churches voted their support for the Roosevelt administration's policy, while opposing any plan to send American troops overseas to fight. Methodism_sentence_474

When war came in 1941, the vast majority of Methodists strongly supported the national war effort, but there were also a few (673) conscientious objectors. Methodism_sentence_475

The United Methodist Church (UMC) was formed in 1968 as a result of a merger between the Evangelical United Brethren Church (EUB) and The Methodist Church. Methodism_sentence_476

The former church had resulted from mergers of several groups of German Methodist heritage, however there was no longer any need or desire to worship in the German language. Methodism_sentence_477

The latter church was a result of union between the Methodist Protestant Church and the northern and southern factions of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Methodism_sentence_478

The merged church had approximately nine million members as of the late 1990s. Methodism_sentence_479

While United Methodist Church in America membership has been declining, associated groups in developing countries are growing rapidly. Methodism_sentence_480

Prior to the merge that led to the formation of the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Methodist Church entered into a schism with the Methodist Church, citing modernism in its parent body as the reason for the departure in 1946. Methodism_sentence_481

American Methodist churches are generally organized on a connectional model, related, but not identical to that used in Britain. Methodism_sentence_482

Pastors are assigned to congregations by bishops, distinguishing it from presbyterian government. Methodism_sentence_483

Methodist denominations typically give lay members representation at regional and national Conferences at which the business of the church is conducted, making it different from most episcopal government. Methodism_sentence_484

This connectional organizational model differs further from the congregational model, for example of Baptist, and Congregationalist Churches, among others. Methodism_sentence_485

In addition to the United Methodist Church, there are over 40 other denominations that descend from John Wesley's Methodist movement. Methodism_sentence_486

Some, such as the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Free Methodists and the Wesleyan Church (formerly Wesleyan Methodist), are explicitly Methodist. Methodism_sentence_487

There are also independent Methodist churches, many of which are affiliated with the Association of Independent Methodists. Methodism_sentence_488

Others do not call themselves Methodist, but grew out of the Methodist movement: for example, The Salvation Army and the Church of the Nazarene. Methodism_sentence_489

Some of the charismatic or Pentecostal churches such as the Pentecostal Holiness Church and the Assemblies of God USA also have roots in or draw from Wesleyan thought. Methodism_sentence_490

The Holiness Revival was primarily among people of Methodist persuasion, who felt that the church had once again become apathetic, losing the Wesleyan zeal. Methodism_sentence_491

Some important events of this revival were the writings of Phoebe Palmer during the mid-1800s, the establishment of the first of many holiness camp meetings at Vineland, New Jersey in 1867, and the founding of Asbury College, (1890), and other similar institutions in the U.S. around the turn of the 20th century. Methodism_sentence_492

In 2020, United Methodists announced a plan to split the denomination over the issue of same-sex marriage. Methodism_sentence_493

Oceania Methodism_section_37

Australia Methodism_section_38

In the 19th century there were Annual Conferences in each colony (including New Zealand). Methodism_sentence_494

Various branches of Methodism in Australia merged during the 20 years from 1881. Methodism_sentence_495

The Methodist Church of Australasia was formed on 1 January 1902 when five Methodist denominations in Australia – the Wesleyan Methodist Church, the Primitive Methodists, the Bible Christian Church, the United Methodist Free and the Methodist New Connexion Churches came together. Methodism_sentence_496

In polity it largely followed the Wesleyan Methodist Church. Methodism_sentence_497

The only sizable Methodist group outside this new structure were the Lay Methodists. Methodism_sentence_498

In 1945 Kingsley Ridgway offered himself as a Melbourne-based "field representative" for a possible Australian branch of the Wesleyan Methodist Church of America, after meeting an American serviceman who was a member of that denomination. Methodism_sentence_499

The Wesleyan Methodist Church of Australia was founded on his work. Methodism_sentence_500

The Methodist Church of Australasia merged with the majority of the Presbyterian Church of Australia and the Congregational Union of Australia in 1977, becoming the Uniting Church. Methodism_sentence_501

The Wesleyan Methodist Church of Australia and some independent congregations chose not to join the union. Methodism_sentence_502

From the mid-1980s a number of independent Methodist churches were founded by missionaries and other members from the Methodist Churches of Malaysia and Singapore. Methodism_sentence_503

Some of these came together to form what is now known as the Chinese Methodist Church in Australia in 1993, and it held its first full Annual Conference in 2002. Methodism_sentence_504

Since the 2000s many independent Methodist churches have been established or grown by Tongan immigrants. Methodism_sentence_505

Many Pacific Islander immigrants of a Methodist background have also joined Uniting Church congregations. Methodism_sentence_506

Wesley Mission in Pitt Street, Sydney, the largest parish in the Uniting Church, remains strongly in the Wesleyan tradition. Methodism_sentence_507

Fiji Methodism_section_39

As a result of the early efforts of missionaries, most of the natives of the Fiji Islands were converted to Methodism in the 1840s and 1850s. Methodism_sentence_508

Most ethnic Fijians are Methodists today (the others are largely Roman Catholic and further divided into minor denominations such as Baptist, All Nations, Assemblies of God, Christian Mission Fellowship, Jehovah's Witnesses, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Souls to Jesus and a few others), and the Methodist Church of Fiji and Rotuma is an important social force. Methodism_sentence_509

New Zealand Methodism_section_40

The Methodist Church of New Zealand was the fourth most frequent religious affiliation chosen by those who declared one in the 2006 national census. Methodism_sentence_510

Since the early 1990s, missionaries and Methodist Church members from Malaysia and Singapore established Churches around major centres in New Zealand. Methodism_sentence_511

These congregations came together to form The Chinese Methodist Church in New Zealand (CMCNZ) in 2003, and constituted as a Provisional Annual Conference to elect its first president in 2018. Methodism_sentence_512

Samoan Islands Methodism_section_41

In 1868, Piula Theological College was established in Lufilufi on the north coast of Upolu island in Samoa and serves as the main headquarters of the Methodist church in the country. Methodism_sentence_513

The college includes the historic Piula Monastery as well as Piula Cave Pool, a natural spring situated beneath the church by the sea. Methodism_sentence_514

The Methodist Church is the third largest denomination throughout the Samoan Islands, in both Samoa and American Samoa. Methodism_sentence_515

Tonga Methodism_section_42

Methodism had a particular resonance with the inhabitants of Tonga. Methodism_sentence_516

As of 2006 somewhat more than a third of Tongans adhered to the Methodist tradition. Methodism_sentence_517

Methodism is represented on the island by a number of churches including the Free Church of Tonga and the Free Wesleyan Church, which is the largest church in Tonga. Methodism_sentence_518

The royal family of the country are prominent members, and the late king was a lay preacher. Methodism_sentence_519

Ecumenical relations Methodism_section_43

Many Methodists have been involved in the ecumenical movement, which has sought to unite the fractured denominations of Christianity. Methodism_sentence_520

Because Methodism grew out of the Church of England, a denomination from which neither of the Wesley brothers seceded, some Methodist scholars and historians, such as Rupert E. Davies, have regarded their 'movement' more as a preaching order within wider Christian life than as a church, comparing them with the Franciscans, who formed a religious order within the medieval European church and not a separate denomination. Methodism_sentence_521

Certainly, Methodists have been deeply involved in early examples of church union, especially the United Church of Canada and the Church of South India. Methodism_sentence_522

Also, a disproportionate number of Methodists take part in inter-faith dialogue. Methodism_sentence_523

For example, Wesley Ariarajah, a long-serving director of the World Council of Churches' sub-unit on "Dialogue with People of Living Faiths and Ideologies" is a Methodist. Methodism_sentence_524

In October 1999, an executive committee of the World Methodist Council resolved to explore the possibility of its member churches becoming associated with the doctrinal agreement which had been reached by the Catholic Church and Lutheran World Federation (LWF). Methodism_sentence_525

In May 2006, the International Methodist–Catholic Dialogue Commission completed its most recent report, entitled "The Grace Given You in Christ: Catholics and Methodists Reflect Further on the Church," and submitted the text to Methodist and Catholic authorities. Methodism_sentence_526

In July of the same year, in Seoul, South Korea, the Member Churches of the World Methodist Council (WMC) voted to approve and sign a "Methodist Statement of Association" with the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, the agreement which was reached and officially accepted in 1999 by the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation and which proclaimed that: Methodism_sentence_527

This is not to say there is perfect agreement between the three denominational traditions; while Catholics and Methodists believe that salvation involves cooperation between God and man, Lutherans believe that God brings about the salvation of individuals without any cooperation on their part. Methodism_sentence_528

Commenting on the ongoing dialogues with Catholic Church leaders, Ken Howcroft, Methodist minister and the Ecumenical Officer for the Methodist Church of Great Britain, noted that "these conversations have been immensely fruitful." Methodism_sentence_529

Methodists are increasingly recognizing that the 15 centuries prior to the Reformation constitute a shared history with Catholics, and are gaining new appreciation for neglected aspects of the Catholic tradition. Methodism_sentence_530

There are, however, important unresolved doctrinal differences separating Roman Catholicism and Methodism, which include "the nature and validity of the ministry of those who preside at the Eucharist, the precise meaning of the Eucharist as the sacramental 'memorial' of Christ's saving death and resurrection, the particular way in which Christ is present in Holy Communion, and the link between eucharistic communion and ecclesial communion. Methodism_sentence_531

In the 1960s, the Methodist Church of Great Britain made ecumenical overtures to the Church of England, aimed at denominational union. Methodism_sentence_532

Formally, these failed when they were rejected by the Church of England's General Synod in 1972; conversations and co-operation continued, however, leading in 2003 to the signing of a covenant between the two churches. Methodism_sentence_533

From the 1970s onward, the Methodist Church also started several Local Ecumenical Projects (LEPs, later renamed Local Ecumenical Partnerships) with local neighbouring denominations, which involved sharing churches, schools and in some cases ministers. Methodism_sentence_534

In many towns and villages there are United Churches which are sometimes with Anglican or Baptist churches, but most commonly are Methodist and URC, simply because in terms of belief, practice and churchmanship, many Methodists see themselves as closer to the United Reformed Church than to other denominations such as the Church of England. Methodism_sentence_535

In the 1990s and early 21st century, the British Methodist Church was involved in the Scottish Church Initiative for Union, seeking greater unity with the established and Presbyterian Church of Scotland, the Scottish Episcopal Church and the United Reformed Church in Scotland. Methodism_sentence_536

The Methodist Church of Great Britain is a member of several ecumenical organisations, including the World Council of Churches, the Conference of European Churches, the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, Churches Together in England, Action of Churches Together in Scotland and Cytûn (Wales). Methodism_sentence_537

Methodist denominations in the United States have also strengthened ties with other Christian traditions. Methodism_sentence_538

In April 2005, bishops in the United Methodist Church approved A Proposal for Interim Eucharistic Sharing. Methodism_sentence_539

This document was the first step toward full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Methodism_sentence_540

The ELCA approved this same document in August 2005. Methodism_sentence_541

At the 2008 General Conference, the United Methodist Church approved full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Methodism_sentence_542

The UMC is also in dialogue with the Episcopal Church for full communion by 2012. Methodism_sentence_543

The two denominations are working on a document called "Confessing Our Faith Together". Methodism_sentence_544

See also Methodism_section_44


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