Who are the Methodists?

The Methodist Church originated as an eighteenth-century renewal movement within the Church of England by John Wesley (1703-1791), an Anglican priest, and his brother Charles (1707-1778), both professors at Oxford University. Himself influenced by German Pietists (Moravians), John Wesley evangelized to the poor and coordinated his thousands of followers into groups called societies, intended as supplemental fellowship classes for members of the Church of England. It was a small organization of their students at Oxford who formed the Holy Club in 1729 which earned the derisive nickname "Methodists," whose intent was to stress personal habits of piety, service, charity, prayer, and Bible study, observed within a strict, methodical daily schedule. John Wesley consecrated his own ministers from the layity and sent them throughout Great Britain and to the American colonies as evangelists. Due to a shortage of Anglican priests in America after the Revolutionary War, Wesley sent his own ordained priests, along with an overseer who was designated as the superintendent of the American societies. This organization led to the formation of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1784, which employed the same itinerate circuit system used by those in England, whereby Methodist priests were sent to evangelize new American frontiers. Early in the nineteenth century, two independent Methodist factions were formed due primarily to segregation and indignified treatment of black members -- the African Methodist Episcopal Church (A.M.E.) and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. Further Methodist factions were to include the Canadian Methodists in 1828, the Methodist Protestant Church in 1830 (an outcome of the Republican Methodist Church), the Wesleyan Methodist Church in 1843 (established by abolutionist groups), the Episcopal Methodist Church, South in 1844 (comprising the southern states), the Free Methodist Church in 1860 (with a stricter adherence to Wesleyan teaching), and the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in 1870 (originally the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church). In 1939, the northern and southern Episcopal Methodist Churches, along with the Methodist Protestant Church, joined together to form one church, The Methodist Church. In 1968, The Methodist Church joined with The Evangelical United Brethren Church to form The United Methodist Church. Today, there are over two dozen different Methodist denominations.

Methodists comprise one of the largest Protestant denominations in the world. They believe in the Trinity, in the Bible as the highest earthly authority, in forgiveness of sins, salvation for all men, Christian perfection through the lifelong process of sanctification, Holy Communion (in remembrance), and Baptism (primarily infant and sprinkling). The ministry is made up of a lower order of deacons and a higher order of elders. The laity participate in church administration, services, and preaching. Although most Methodist churches are co-governed by a Bishop and elected members of church boards, they are typically overseen by a national church council, known as the legislative general conference. Women are eligable for offices and positions. Church membership is available to all races and nationalities who are at the age of decision, who confess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and The doctrinal statement of Methodists is found in twenty-five affirmations by John Wesley originally intended as an abridgement of the thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England

        "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." (Acts 2:42-47)

The African Methodist Episcopal Church Official Website

"Welcome to the Official Website of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Incorporated, a Pennsylvania Corporation, administered by the Office of the General Secretary and Chief Information Officer of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME Church). This site is the gateway into the AME Church Online Community. The African Methodist Episcopal Church has a unique and glorious history. It is unique in that it is the first major religious denomination in the Western World that had its origin over sociological rather than theological beliefs and differences. The Church was born in protest against slaveryóagainst dehumanization of African people, brought to the American continent as cheap labor. The Mission of the African Methodist Episcopal Church is to minister to the spiritual, intellectual, physical, emotional, and environmental needs of all people by spreading Christ's liberating gospel through word and deed. At every level of the Connection and in every local church, the African Methodist Episcopal Church shall engage in carrying out the spirit of the original Free African Society, out of which the A.M.E. Church evolved: that is, to seek out and save the lost, and serve the needy."

The African Methodist Episcopal Church

"The African Methodist Episcopal is an offspring of the Methodist which was founded by John Wesley in England and America in the eighteenth entury.The Methodist movement itself began in 1739 when John Wesley,an Anglican started within the Church of England a movement to improve the spiritual life of hisChurch. The movement became widespread. Many of the followers of the movement emigrated to America. Wesley,realizing the future for the spread of Methodism in the Colonies, ordained Dr. Thomas Coke, an Anglican priest, and sent him to organize the Church in America. Dr. Coke arrived and called a General Conference in Baltimore, Maryland in December 1784. At this "Christmas Conference, Richard Allen (founder of the American Methodist Episcopal Church),was present as an observer only, and was not a delegate or a voter. Methodism grew as the Methodist riders went from point to point, from settlement to settlement,and from plantation to plantation. The African Methodist Episcopal Church sprang from the American counterpart of the Methodist Church. The African Methodist Episcopal Church has a unique and glorious history. It is unique in that it is the first major religious denomination in the Western world that had its origin over sociological rather than theological beliefs and differences. The immediate cause of the organization of the A.M.E.Church was the fact that members of the St. George's Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia Pa., in 1787 segrated its colored members from its white communicants. The Blacks were sent to the gallery of the Church, to use the venerable Richard Allen's own words. One Sunday as the Africans, as they were called, knelt to pray outside of their segrated area they were actually pulled from their knees and told to go to a place which had been designated for them. This added insult to injury and upon completing their prayer, they went out and formed the Free African Society, and from this Society came two groups: The Episcopalians and the Methodists. The leader of the Methodist group was Richard Allen. Richard Allen desired to implement his conception of freedom of worship and desired to be rid of the humiliation of segregation,especially in church. Richard Allen learned that other groups were suffering under the same conditions. After study and consultation, five churches came together in a General Convention which met in Philadelphia, Pa., April 9-11, 1816, and formed the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The name African Methodist came naturally, as Negroes at that time were called Africans and they followed the teaching of the Methodist Church as founded by John Wesley. The young Church accepted the Methodist doctrine and Discipline almost in its entirety."

The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

"The Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, or the CME Church as it is commonly called, came into existence as a result of the movement from slavery to freedom. During the years following the birth of Methodism, the denomination grew rapidly. The Methodist Episcopal Church South was an outgrowth of Wesley's Methodism. Some Blacks, converted to Christianity by slave masters, accepted the Methodist doctrine as it was. However, with the passage of time, the emancipation of Blacks from slavery created the desire by Blacks to have and control their own church. This desire led formerly enslaved persons who had been members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, to start their own independent religious organization. Forty-one men who has exemplified leadership qualities gathered together in Jackson, Tennessee on December 16, 1870. With the advice and assistance of the white brethren of the M.E. Church South, the Black religious leaders organized the colored branch of Methodism. On Tuesday, December 20, they adopted the Methodist South's Book of Discipline and on Wednesday, December 21, they elected two of their own preachers - William H. Miles of Kentucky and Richard H. Vanderhorst of Georgia - as their bishops. Gathering in Jackson with only a dream, the religious leaders departed with their own church a reality. In the words of Bishop Randall Albert Carter, "this tender plant of God" had taken root and "was here to live or die." (Biblical basis: Psalm 80.)"

The Evangelical Methodist Church

"We welcome inquiries from ministers and lay church members from our wider Wesleyan traditions who desire to affiliate with the Evangelical Methodist Church denomination. In a day of historic denominations exchanging their biblical roots for 21st century relativism and rejection of biblical authority, the Evangelical Methodist Church maintains and practices the original articles of historic Methodism."

Fellowship of Independent Methodist Churches

"The Independent Methodists are a body of Christians who evidence their genuine experience of God's saving grace by practical godliness and by earnestly seeking to conform to the whole will of God as revealed in the Holy Scriptures. They do not believe that God or the Bible has changed to accommodate the fashionable tendencies of the age and solemnly protest against any introduction of worldliness into the Church. The cost of discipleship is the same now as it was in the days of the Apostles, therefore if any will be His disciple, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow Christ. It is necessary to come out from the world and be separate, renouncing all vain pomp and glory, adorning oneself with modest attire. In doctrine we are Methodist. We believe in the doctrine of the Trinity, a general atonement, the necessity and possibility of the New Birth for all men, the witness of the Spirit, the ministry of divine healing, future rewards and punishments, the Second Coming of Christ and that it is the privilege of every believer to be sanctified wholly and to be preserved blameless unto the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. All our members are expected to enjoy this experience or to seek diligently until they obtain it. We are also opposed to the present false Ecumenical Movement and to the World Council of Churches and we will not share in any of their activities. We are glad to have fellowship with born again members of other denominations."

Free Methodist Church

"As the name implies, Free Methodists trace their heritage back to original Methodism as led by its founder, John Wesley. When Methodism came to America, churches and annual conferences spread across the land. In 1860, in western New York and Illinois, the Free Methodist Church came into being. In New York a group of 1,000 Methodist laymen held several conventions and were joined by evangelical Methodist pastors. On August 23, 1860, the new denomination came into being. Issues that were important to them included slavery in America. While the mother church did not take a stand, those who took the name "Free" Methodist opposed slavery. Another issue in that time was the widespread practice of renting and selling church pews, thus relegating the poor to benches in the back of the sanctuary. "Free" Methodists called for free seats for all and emphasized tithes and offerings to support the church's ministries. Freedom in worship, in contrast to deadening formalism, was also important to "Free" Methodists. As a result, the newly named Free Methodists sought to maintain the heritage of original Methodism with its warm-hearted, biblical message and lifestyle."

The Free Methodist Church in Canada

"The Free Methodist Church's roots are deeply embedded in the spiritual awakening of 18th century England which gave rise to world Methodism. Today, the Free Methodist Church minister in 56 countries around the world. In Canada, over 130 churches are located as far west as Vancouver and as far east as Montreal. Free Methodists are committed to the authority of the Bible and to the life of the Spirit. We seek to allow God to shape our whole lives - attitudes, thoughts and relationships. Free Methodists seek to help people find new life in Christ and to live lives of loving integrity. We are also committed to the great biblical principle that all believers are participants in Godís purposes. Our churches are eager to help people discover how they can know God and serve others in meaningful ways and so bring about transformation in our world."

Independent Methodist Arminian Resource Center

"The INDEPENDENT METHODIST ARMINIAN RESOURCE CENTER is dedicated to the spread of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and Biblical Methodism. We stand without apology for what we believe. This page is sponsored by various concerned Methodist-Wesleyan Arminian pastors, layman, some of whom serve in different denominations and associations of the Independent Methodist movement and the St. Stephen Methodist Church, Independent, of Columbus, Georgia."

Kansas Methodism - Methodist History Bookmarks

"Try any or all these links to get a good historical framework of Methodism from its earliest times in John Wesley's England to present day United Methodism in the United States."

Methodist Archives and Research Center

John Rylands University Library of Manchester

The Methodist Church in Ireland

"The Methodist Church in Ireland was established as a separate denomination in 1878. It had originally been an evangelistic movement within the Established Church. However, the ordination of its own ministers and the increasing disassociation many Methodists felt from the Anglican Church, meant that separation was inevitable. In politics, Methodists have typically been of a unionist persuasion. In 1798 they were on the side of the government against the United Irishmen. Similarly. the church was against Catholic Emancipation, repeal of the Union and Home Rule. Cooney cites such loyalty to "King and Country" as being the product of Wesley's respect for law and order, the absence of a radical wing in the church, and the fact that Methodism had not been politicised. The more recent situation in the North of Ireland has also affected the Church. The division of Belfast into 'Protestant' and 'Catholic' areas resulted in the disappearance of seven Methodist churches, including one on the Falls Road. Two Methodists ≠ The Rev Dr Eric Gallagher and Dr Stanley Worrall ≠ were among a small group of churchmen who met leaders of the IRA in Feakle in 1974. Gordon Wilson, thrust into the limelight after the 1987 Enniskillen bombing, was also a Methodist."

The Methodist Church of Great Britain

"As the Methodist societies grew at a fast rate, some way of keeping in touch and organising them was needed. John Wesley had held what became an annual conference of Methodist preachers. In 1784 he made provision for the continuance as a corporate body after his death of the 'Yearly Conference of the People called Methodists'. He nominated 100 people and declared them to be its members and laid down the method by which their successors were to be appointed. After his death the leadership passed to the Methodist Conference, and instead of one person exercising leadership for a length of time, the President of the Conference became for the year of office the representative of the Conference and leading minister of the church. During the nineteenth century there were many factions in the church. Gradually most of these were re-united, the last union being in 1932. The Methodist Church has a Connexional structure rather than a congregational one. This is where the whole church acts and decides together. It is where the local church is never independent of the rest of the Connexion. Everyone who becomes a member through confirmation is a member of the Methodist Church as a whole, not just their local church. The Methodist Church is part of the whole Church of Christ. It claims no superiority or inferiority to any other part of the Church. All those who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and accept the obligations to serve him in the life of the Church and the world are welcome as full members of the Methodist Church."

The Methodist Church of New Zealand

"The beginning of Methodism in Aotearoa/New Zealand dates back to 1822, when the Rev. Samuel Leigh who had also been the pioneer Methodist Minister to New South Wales, came to open the Wesleyan Methodist Mission. In 1823 he established the first Wesleyan Mission at Whangaroa. By 1840, the year in which the Treaty of Waitangi was signed, there were Mission Stations from one end of the country to the other. When European settlers arrived the missionaries included them in their pastoral oversight, and starting in Auckland organised them into Societies in conformity with British Methodist practice. In 1844 the Primitive Methodist Connexion began its work in New Zealand under the direction of the Rev. Robert Ward. The United Methodist Free Churches were first represented in New Zealand in 1860, and the Bible Christians in 1887. In 1854 the Wesleyan Methodist Missions in Australia, Van Diemen's Land, New Zealand, the Friendly Islands, and Fiji, were formed into the Australasian Wesleyan Methodist Church, and the first Conference was held in Sydney in January, 1855. In 1874 the British Conference agreed to a New Constitution, providing for a triennial General Conference, and for four Annual Conferences having largely only administrative powers. One of these comprised the European and Native work in New Zealand. The other branches of Methodism in New Zealand retained their connection with their respective Conferences in England. In 1896 the United Methodist Free Churches and the Bible Christian Church joined the Wesleyan Methodists, as a part of the General Conference of the Methodist Church of Australasia. In June 1910, when the General Conference met in Adelaide, a request was presented by the New Zealand Conference for independent and self-governing powers. After lengthy discussion this was agreed to by a unanimous vote, subject to the approval of each Annual Conference, and by the passing of an empowering Act of Parliament in each State of the Commonwealth, and in New Zealand. These conditions were in due course complied with, and the independence of the New Zealand Church took effect on 1st January, 1913. Meanwhile, a united Committee representing the Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist Churches prepared a "Basis of Union", which subsequently received the approval of the Conferences and Quarterly Meetings of both Churches. With this endorsement, the first united Conference of the Methodist Church of New Zealand was opened on Thursday, 6th February 1913. The Methodist Church of New Zealand, Te Haahi Weteriana o Aotearoa, has experienced major changes since the 1950's. The Cooperative Ventures with partner Churches has significantly altered the `presence' of the Methodist Church in both urban and country areas. From 1973, Maori Methodism has become largely autonomous, and as tangata whenua are one of the parties in the covenant relationship based on the Treaty of Waitangi to which the whole Church committed itself by resolution of the 1983 Conference. The multi-cultural goal of the Church's bi-cultural journey continues to find new expression in the changing nature of tauiwi Methodism. The growth of Samoan, Tongan and Fijian congregations alongside Pakeha Methodism has been a feature of recent decades."

The Methodist Church of Southern Africa

"Young or old, female or male, single, married or divorced, people of every race and language - everyone can feel at home in the Methodist Church. Newcomers do not need to bring a fully found faith in God. Indeed the doubts and questions of people feeling their way towards faith are welcomed... Jesus was concerned about people - and how people lived with their families and their neighbours. And he challenged people to make an impact on their communities and on wider society. There are those who say that the Church should keep out of politics. This is not the Methodist way. John Wesley refused to separate faith from life. Most of the Tolpuddle Martyrs were Methodists, as have been many leaders of the Trade Union movement, as well as a significant number of Methodist MPs in all the main parties. Every local church looks for some way to express Christian love in action. At a national level, Methodist officers working on behalf of the Church, are able to lobby Government on issues as diverse as human rights, third world debt, education policy and pornography... The Methodist Church welcomes everyone, whether a member or not, who enquires about getting married in any of its places of worship. The Church believes that it is God's intention that a marriage should be a life-long union in body, mind and spirit of one man and one woman. However, divorce does not of itself prevent a person being married in any Methodist place of worship. If you have questions, please ask a local Methodist minister. The sacrament of Baptism in the Methodist Church is normally given to young children after their parents or guardians have had instruction at a local church. The baptism normally is conducted by a minister during a service. Methodists try to reflect in their lives the love that God wishes to share with all people. In worship Methodists give thanks to God who loves us and has set us in this world of possibilities. They give thanks for one another. They pray that God will continue to sustain and enable everyone to live fulfilled lives. Methodist worship is characterised by a lively tradition of hymn singing and a passionate regard for preaching the love and justice of the gospel of Jesus... There are around 5078 Methodist Churches in Southern Africa. These churches have a total membership of about 750 000 people. There are around one million people in Southern Africa who in one way or another have a connection with the Methodist Church. There are 70 million such people across the world."

One Methodist

"I believe: I) in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ , his only son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, was crucified, dead, and buried; the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead; in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic (meaning universal) Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting; the one God reveals himself as the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Ghost, distinct but inseparable, eternally one in essence and power. I believe: II) that man is totally spiritually corrupt, in that there is no spiritual good in man to gain heaven or favor with God, in his fallen condition; in Conditional Election, that all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour have met the condition of Election, and in Unlimited Atonement, that Christ died for all men everywhere. I believe: III) furthermore, that Grace can be resisted, and man may refuse the call to be saved; in the Perseverance of the Saints, in that the Bible teaches the possibility of falling from Grace and being eternally lost, if we do not persevere; therefore to be erroneous the doctrine of unconditional Eternal Security or "Once Saved, Always Saved" as a license for sin in the believer. I believe: IV) there are two sacraments ordained of Christ our Lord in the Gospel; Baptism and the Supper of the Lord; the Church should accept sprinkling, pouring or immersion as obedience to Christ's command, as the Scriptures do not absolutely rule out any of the three modes of baptism; in the baptism of infants or young children; that both the Bread and the Cup are to be offered to the Church in the Lord's Supper. I believe: V)Sanctification is that renewal of our fallen nature of the Holy Ghost, received through faith in Jesus Christ, whose blood of atonement cleanseth from all sin; whereby we are not only delivered from the guilt of sin, but are washed from its pollution, saved from its power, and are enabled, through grace, to love God with all our hearts and to walk in his holy commandments blameless. I believe: VI) that the Holy Scriptures contain all things necessary to salvation, so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believe as an article of faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation; the Holy Scripture to be those canonical books of the Old (39 books) and New (27 books) Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church; therefore, the scripture is without error, and inspired by God Himself. To allow for error is to demolish the foundation upon which all of the Holy Scriptures stand."

Rapture Ready - John Wesley

"John Wesley - Anglican clergyman, evangelist, and cofounder of Methodism. The 15th child of a former Nonconformist minister, he graduated from Oxford Univ. and became a priest in the Church of England in 1728. From 1729 he participated in a religious study group in Oxford organized by his brother Charles (1707-1788), its members being dubbed the "Methodists" for their emphasis on methodical study and devotion."

The Southern Methodist Church

"God has called The Southern Methodist Church to glorify Himself, fulfilling its role within the body of Christ by carrying out the Great Commission of Jesus Christ and by spreading Biblical holiness to all people after the example of John Wesley and the early Methodist movement. Our mission is to proclaim the infallible, inerrant, authoritative Word of God, reaching out to all people with the gospel of Jesus Christ, inviting them into a personal faith and a loving, Christ-centered fellowship, discipling and equipping them unto spiritual maturity, and together worshipping God personally and corporately, all through the power of the Holy Spirit and prayer. The Southern Methodist Church is a conservative denomination with churches located in the southeastern part of the United States. With approximately 110 churches and 7,500 members located from Maryland to Florida, South Carolina to Texas, the denomination seeks to continue the doctrinal heritage of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South and to spread the message of salvation and Biblical holiness that John Wesley preached."

The United Methodist Church

"We all share a faith in Jesus Christ, but the Church encourages us to think for ourselves, so we donít necessarily share the same opinions about every faith issue or social concern. And there are lots of us: 8.5 million United Methodists live in the U.S., and 1.5 million more worldwide, with the largest growth in membership occurring in Africa and the Philippines. In all, there are 36,000 United Methodist churches in the U.S. We arenít striving to be all the same, but we are striving to work together to make a significant difference in the world. We have created an extensive Volunteers in Mission effort, which is the fastest growing mission movement in the United Methodist Church today. It provides an opportunity for practically anyone to experience Christian mission around the world, including the Caribbean, Latin America, many American states, Africa, and Europe. The Methodist movement founder, John Wesley (who began his ministry in England in 1738), said it almost 300 years ago, and itís truer today than he could have imagined: "The world is our parish." The United Methodist Committee on Relief responds to disasters in Hindu India and Islamic Turkey. Volunteers in Mission teams go to the most poverty-stricken parts of the globe. Bishops and regular church members live out lives of faith in war zones. United Methodists in the U.S. support brothers and sisters around the globe through the general funds of the church. Although local churches are joined by an organizational network, it is not a traditional hierarchy. There is no one person who leads the denomination. Once every four years, members of the United Methodist Church get together for our General Conference to make important decisions governing our policy and practices. We arenít afraid to tackle the tough issues: racism, poverty, human rights, human sexuality, labor issues, the farm crisis, gender equality, environmental problems. Social advocacy and action have been part of our church since it began. We are no less committed today."

The United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society

"The General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) is one of four international general program boards of The United Methodist Church. The General Board has headquarters on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. and at the Church Center for the United Nations in New York City. The President of the Board is Bishop S.Clifton Ives; Vice President, Bishop Beverly Shamana; Secretary, Barbara Wendland; Treasurer, John Redmond. The General Secretary of the Board since Nov.1, 2000 is Mr. James E. Winkler. The General Board is defined by its five areas of ministry: (1) Public Witness and Advocacy(2) Administration(3) Ministry of Resourcing Congregational Life, (4)United Nations Ministry, (5) Communications... The purpose of the board shall be to relate the gospel of Jesus Christ to the members of the Church and to the persons and structures of the communities and world in which they live. It shall seek to bring the whole of human life, activities, possessions, use of resources, and community and world relationships into conformity with the will of God. It shall show the members of the Church and the society that the reconciliation that God effected through Christ involves personal, social, and civic righteousness... The prime responsibility of the board is to seek the implementation of the Social Principles and other policy statements of the General Conference on Christian social concerns. Furthermore, the board and its executives shall provide forthright witness and action on issues of human well-being, justice, peace, and the integrity of creation that call Christians to respond as forgiven people for whom Christ died. In particular, the board shall conduct a program of research, education, and action on the wide range of issues that confront the Church."

The United Methodist Church General Board of Global Ministries

"There shall be a General Board of Global Ministries, ... the purpose of which is found within the expression of the total mission of the Church. It is a missional instrument of The United Methodist Church, its annual conferences, missionary conferences, and local congregations in the context of a global setting. The Church in mission is a sign of God's presence in the world. By the authority of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, the Church. Four goals of the General Board of Global Ministries: Joins God's mission to reclaim, restore, and redeem the life of all creation to its divine intention; Confesses by word and deed the redeeming activity of God in Christ among the whole human family; Seeks to embody and realize the potential of new life in Christ among all human beings; and Looks forward in faith and hope for the fulfillment of God's reign and the completion of God's mission."

The United Methodist Church General Commission on Archives and History

"The purpose of the General Commission on Archives and History is to promote and care for the historical interest of The United Methodist Church. We maintain an archives and library in which historical records and materials relating to The United Methodist Church are preserved and are made available for public and scholarly use."

United Methodist Communications

"On April 23, 1968, The United Methodist Church was created when Bishop Reuben H. Mueller, representing The Evangelical United Brethren Church, and Bishop Lloyd C. Wicke of The Methodist Church joined hands at the constituting General Conference in Dallas, Texas. With the words, "Lord of the Church, we are united in Thee, in Thy Church and now in The United Methodist Church," the new denomination was given birth by two churches that had distinguished histories and influential ministries in various parts of the world. Theological traditions steeped in the Protestant Reformation and Wesleyanism, similar ecclesiastical structures, and relationships that dated back almost two hundred years facilitated the union. In the Evangelical United Brethren heritage, for example, Philip William Otterbein, the principal founder of the United Brethren in Christ, assisted in the ordination of Francis Asbury to the superintendency of American Methodist work. Jacob Albright, through whose religious experience and leadership the Evangelical Association was begun, was nurtured in a Methodist class meeting following his conversion."

World Methodist Council

"The World Methodist Council is an association of the Churches in the Methodist tradition throughout the world that promotes unity and seeks to: Deepen fellowship; Foster Methodist participation in the ecumenical movement; Advance unity of theological and moral standards; Suggest priorities in Methodist activity; Promote effective use of Methodist resources in the Christian mission; Encourage evangelism; Promote Christian education; Pray for and support needs of persecuted Christians; Encourage ministries of justice and peace; Study union and reunion proposals which effect Member Churches; Sponsor a Minister exchange program; Encourage the development of worship and liturgical life in Member Churches; Coordinate and support worldwide Methodist publishing interests; Through the World Methodist Peace Award, honor individuals/groups who work to bring reconciliation and peace in God's work."

World Methodist Evangelism

"World Methodist Evangelism, a Division of the World Methodist Council, began in 1971 when the World Methodist Council declared: It is time for all the people called Methodists to go on World Mission and Evangelism TOGETHER! We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ's commission to His church to preach the Gospel and to make Disciples is the supreme business of the Church. God through the Holy Spirit is calling the Methodist people everywhere to a strengthened and sustained thrust in world mission and evangelism. In 1971, the World Methodist Conference passed a resolution which launched the dynamic thrust of World Methodist Evangelism. The chartering resolution of World Evangelism called the World Methodist Movement: To affirm the relevancy and adequacy of the Christian faith for this age; To initiate a worldwide mission and evangelism offensive; To lead persons into a personal experience of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior; To encourage within the Methodist Movement a sense of unity of the entire Christian Church and a sense of global consciousness; To stimulate new strategies of ministries to persons and society; To give mutual encouragement to the Body of Christ. The World Methodist Council Evangelism Committee under the leadership of Chairman, Bishop Gerald Ensley, gave leadership to the new thrust in World Evangelism. The Reverend Sir Alan Walker, distinguished church and national leader from Sydney, Australia, served as the first full-time World Director of Evangelism from 1978 to 88."

        Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous." (Luke 14:12-14)

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