American Protestant Denominations: Methodists

American Methodisrts
Figure 1.--This Methodist Church in New Windsor, New York, organized a "barefoot Sunday". The people donated their shoes for the poors and they attended the worship in bare feet. The United Methodist Church (UMC) is the primary Methodist church in the United States and deeply involved in charity and social missues.

The United Methodist Church (UMC) is the primary Methodist church in the United States. It is one of the most important mainline denominations and evangelical in character. The Methodist Church was founded by John Wesley. The name of the church resulted from the methodical character of John Wesley and his study of religion. John Wesley initially saw his efforts as a reform movement within the Church of England. The American Revolution separated the Methodists in the American colonies from the Church of England and the Methodist movement. Wesley when the Church of England refused to send a bidhop to the new American Republic, sent Thomas Coke to organize a Methodist Society in America. Coke brought a revision of the Anglican Prayerbook and the Articles of Religion. The Baltimore Christmas Conference officially establishing the Methodist Episcopal Church (1784). The name suggests the continuing connection with the Episcopal (Anglican) Church. The conference took place at the Lovely Lane Methodist Church. The church is now seen as the Mother Church of American Methodism. Wesley himself did not approve of the action. The new Church, however, grew rapidly in America. It would eventually grown larger than the Methodist movement in England. Methodists became known fir the lay circuit riders thsat spread the faith throughout rural America. There were an estimated 4,000 circuit riders (1840s). The Methodist Episcopal Church became the largest Protestant denomination and the most widely spread denomination in the country. Over time there wee divisions among the Methodists. The Methodist Protestant Church broke off (1830). The issue was the role of the laity. An even more divisive issue was slavery. The Methodists in England were a major force in the abolition movement. In America, significant differences on slavery developed between northern and southern churches. The Methodist Episcopal Church split into two conferences over slavery and the power of bishops in the denomination. The two conferences would take nearly a century to rejoin (1939). The Methodist Protestant Church Alsobrejoined the inited conference which became the Methodist Church. The UMC was founded by the union of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church (1968). The UMC theological orientation is Wesleyan with both liturgical and evangelical elements. The UMC is the largest mainline denomination and the second largest Protestant church in the United states. Only the Southern Baptist Convention. There are amount 8 million members in the Unuited states and Canada and 12 million wirldwide. The largest number of members outside Anerica are in Britain. The UMC belongs to the World Council of Churches, the World Methodist Council, and various other religious associations.



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Created: 12:03 PM 4/9/2011
Last updated: 12:03 PM 4/9/2011