The people of The United Methodist Church are a worldwide connection of more than 12 million members in Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States.
The United Methodist Church was formed when the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church merged in 1968. But we trace our heritage back to the movement begun in 1729 in England by John and Charles Wesley.
Methodism has its roots in eighteenth century Anglicanism. Its founder was a Church of England minister, John Wesley (1703-1791), who sought to challenge the religious assumptions of the day. During a period of time in Oxford, he and others met regularly for Bible study and prayer, to receive communion and do acts of charity. They became known as 'The Holy Club' or 'Methodists' because of the methodical way in which they carried out their Christian faith. John Wesley later used the term Methodist himself to mean the methodical pursuit of biblical holiness.
Today we speak many languages and live in many countries — with different cultures, ethnic traditions, national histories and understandings of Christian faith and practice.
Connectional: Every United Methodist congregation is interconnected throughout the denomination via a unique, interlocking chain of conferences. The United Methodist Church practices representative democracy in its governance. Conferences elect delegates who are authorized to act and vote. Learn more about our structure.
Inclusive: All persons are welcome to attend our churches and receive Holy Communion, and are eligible to be baptized and become members.
Grounded in Scripture: United Methodists trust free inquiry in matters of Christian doctrine. Our faith is guided by Scripture, tradition, experience and reason. Of paramount importance, however, is Scripture as the witness of God’s creating, redeeming and sustaining relationship with God’s people. Learn more about our basic beliefs.
Wesleyan: The United Methodist Church has a Wesleyan heritage, and as such, places an emphasis on mind and heart (knowledge and vital piety) and putting faith and love into practice.
Concerned about social justice: For more than 230 years, The United Methodist Church and its predecessor bodies have expressed concern for God’s children everywhere — the poor, the orphaned, the aging, the sick, the oppressed and the imprisoned.
Mission-oriented: Our mission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. In uncomplicated terms, this means we strive to nurture followers of Christ who then reach out and teach others about the love of Jesus. Find out about our mission around the world.
Ecumenical: United Methodists consider dialogue and missional cooperation between United Methodists and other Christians as a valid witness to the unity of the body of Christ. Quinsigamond Village
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