United Methodist Church

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The United Methodist Church (UMC) is the largest Methodist denomination and the largest Mainline Protestant denomination in the U.S.A. In 2020, the LGBTQ movement took control of its leadership, with a final vote scheduled in May in Minneapolis on an exit by conservative congregations.[1] This takeover by the Left -- despite how traditionalists won the debate and vote at the most recent annual church conference in 2019 -- illustrates O’Sullivan’s First Law.

It was formed from numerous mergers of American churches dating back to the 18th century. Because of the abolitionist controversy, the Methodist Episcopal Church suffered the withdrawal of members who founded the Wesleyan Methodist Church and the Free Methodist Church shortly before the Civil War and, in addition, the church split North and South in 1844 over the slavery issue. That split was ended when the Northern and Southern branches reunited in 1939 (along with most of the small Methodist Protestant Church) to form the "The Methodist Church (USA)." In 1968 it merged with the historically-German Evangelical United Brethren Church to form the United Methodist Church.

In the United States, it ranks as the second largest Protestant church (8 million and 1.5 million more worldwide) after the Southern Baptist Convention. Overall, the United Methodist Church is the third largest Christian church in America, including the Roman Catholic Church.

John Wesley is honored as the founder of Methodism, but his theology was never fully appreciated.

The cross and flame emblem is United Methodism's official symbol


The denomination grew rapidly in all parts of the U.S. during the 19th and early 20th centuries, but especially in the middle states. Methodists comprised about 4% of the total population from 1830 to 1860; the peak came in 1925 at 6.5%. By 1960, the church was the largest Protestant church in the United States but then began a long membership decline as more people died or withdrew than joined. It had approximately equal appeal to blacks and whites. Most of the blacks belong to the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, or the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, but there are large numbers affiliated with the United Methodist Church as well. Its missions were also relatively successful among the many German and Scandinavian immigrants in the U.S.A.

Colonial Era

The First Great Awakening was a series of religious revivals up and down the colonies, beginning the 1720s. Different denominations took part, but none gained as many members as the newly founded Methodist sect, still considered a part of the Anglican Church. The most effective revivalist was Englishman George Whitefield, who visited the colonies seven times and was largely responsible for the success of the First Great Awakening.

Missionaries coming from Britain to New England in the mid- and late-18th century faced strong opposition from the established Congregational Church. Methodists held a conception of religion and its relationship to society that was fundamentally at odds with the views of the religious establishment. Beyond a struggle over religious authority, the struggle over Methodism also reveals deep-seated fears of community fragmentation and social disorder in the wake of the American Revolution.[2]

The Methodists grew from a handful of preachers ministering to under 1,000 members when Francis Asbury arrived in America in 1771. At his death in 1816 he led a church with over 700 circuit riders and 200,000 formal members, and perhaps four times as many people who were more loosely-connected adherents.

Second Great Awakening

see also Methodist Episcopal Church, South


The Second Great Awakening swept the frontier after 1800 with a series of revivals that made the Methodists the largest American denomination by the 1830s, with churches well distributed in every part of the country, including cities, rural areas and the frontier.

The distinctive characteristic of early Methodism in the United States that most appealed to people and resulted in conversions and joining the Methodist Church was not a theological concept, such as Arminianism, but rather was "enthusiasm," including dreams, visions, supernatural impressions, miraculous healings, Speaking in tongues, swoons, and trances.[3]

the Circuit Rider

The key to building enthusiasm was the revival—especially on the frontier but also in towns. Revivals, which brought together hundreds of men, women and children for several days of intense preaching, prayer, singing, soul-searching and socializing. Many became converted, and joined one of the local Methodist churches. Methodists expected revivals aimed at larger audiences to startle hearers into initial religious consciousness; they assumed the critical conversion from self to Christ would occur in private, only then to be followed by integration into the spiritual fellowship of the local, small-group, lay-led society.

Circuit riders proved to be economical and efficient agents to spread Methodism. These itinerant preachers were the first institutionalized response to the call for missionary work in the mid- to late 18th century. Circuit riders tended to be lay preachers who often lacked formal education and were young, poor, and single. Unlike the local preacher, the itinerant circuit rider was a full member of the Methodist annual conference. The circuit riders settled down in the late 19th century and the practice largely disappeared except in remote areas.[4]

1819 frontier revival

Methodism and westward expansion grew simultaneously. Methodists shared similar values with the pioneers: self-reliant individualism, perfectibility, faith in progress, and a belief in Manifest Destiny. Methodism had less success in urban areas during the late 19th century, despite the work of evangelist Sam Jones. Urban workers did not see frontier-like individualism as a means to achieve success in the city. The complexity of urban life could not be addressed by the older ideals.[5]

The Methodists developed distinctive religious and liturgical practices regarding regular" Sunday worship, various "special services" in the Methodist tradition (especially the "Love Feast", the "Watch Night Service", and the Quarterly Meeting), with adaptations of liturgies and practices related to sacraments and rites of passage, a lesser emphasis on the role of music, considerable emphasis on private and familial devotions, and a church architecture suitable for its budget and its style of worship.[6]


Schneider (1993) stresses the Victorian domestic ideology adopted by the Methodist women. That is, they made the ideology that defined women as "naturally" religious and sanctified the middle-class home a central part of their identity and practice. Methodism stood opposed to the intensely masculine "culture of honor" (with its deadly duels) that had previously been rampant.

While all the ministers were men, most of the members were women. Working beside her father, Helenor Alter Davisson was a circuit rider of the Methodist Protestant Church in Jasper County, Indiana. She was ordained a minister in 1866, becoming the first female ordained in Methodism. Subsequent church conferences challenged the ordination of women. Illness confined her to her room by 1870, and she died there in 1876.[7]

Artisans and politics

The Methodists were well received in Maryland in the 1760-1840 era, and Baltimore became an important center.[8] Sutton (1998) looks at Methodist artisans and craftsmen, showing they embraced an evangelical identity, Protestant ethic, and complex organizational structure. This enabled them to express their anti-elitist or populist "producerist" values of self-discipline, honesty, frugality, and industry; they denounced greed, and sought an interdependent common good. Such producerist views drew on aspects of the Wesleyan ethic, appropriated the commonweal traditions of eighteenth century republicanism, and initially resisted those of classical liberal, individualistic, self-interested capitalism. They also accorded well with and helped produce the emerging amalgam of American populist, restorationist, biblicistic, revivalistic activism that Sutton terms "Arminianized Calvinism."[9]

Inside the Methodist Church the artisans were reforemers who focused on three substantive and symbolic targets, each of which would democratize Methodist conferences: lay suffrage and representation; inclusion of the local preachers, who constituted two-thirds of Methodist leadership; and election of the officers who carried the administrative, personnel, and supervisory power, the presiding elders. The appeals made on behalf of these democratizations, Sutton shows, drew imaginatively on both producerist and Wesleyan rhetoric. By the 1850s Sutton shows that the corporate ideals and individual disciplines of religious producerism were expressed in trade unionism, in evangelical missions to workers, in factory preaching, in workers' congregations, in temperance and Sabbatarianism, in the Sunday school movement, and in the politics of Protestant communal hegemony.[10]

German Americans

Missions to the German Americans added numerous members. Rev Wilhelm Nast, a German immigrant, was the main force in building the Methodist Church among other German-speaking immigrants during the 1830s-1880s. Nast emphasized the connection of Methodism to Reformed Lutheran theology, demonstrating the commonality of the essentials of salvation. He did go beyond Luther, in the Methodist tradition emphasizing sanctification. In 1844 he returned to Germany to explore the possibilities of evangelism and determined that the Methodists needed a permanent presence instead of relying on connections with revival movements. A formal missionary movement by the German Methodist Church began in Germany in 1849. In part this missionary movement was built on Nast's ability to make Methodism appealing to Germans from diverse denominations and his guidance to pastors on continuities and discontinuities of Methodism with continental theologies.[11]

Moral supervision


The Methodists closely monitored the actual behavior of all their members through the "class meeting" every week. Typically twelve members met once a week to monitor how they were growing in inward spiritual experience. Their goal was to achieve "a mortifying self-knowledge" and "to replace a sense of the sporadic surveillance of the neighborhood with a sense of the omniscient eye of God".[12] This intense introspection was critical in moving from a traditional personality that feared external shame to a modern personality that was driven by guilt.

By the second half of the 19th century, the class meetings were forgotten and Methodist leaders viewed the novel as a threat to morals. Novels competed with religion for an audience and provided bad examples that could lead the impressionable reader to a life of crime or might distract the reader from contributing to the formation of a just society. Ministers had the duty of directing readers to more edifying literature by acting as book critics. They might also serve as book agents by selling uplifting books, such as those published by the Methodist Book Concern. In the early 20th century, some Methodist scholars came to believe that novels were necessary for faith: reading quality fiction enabled one to discover commendable values and learn how to engage the world. Radio and film would supersede the threat posed by the novel.[13]

decline and fall caused by drink; 1840s

The Methodists aggressively campaigned against liquor before the Civil War turned their attention to slavery. From the 1870s to the 1920s the Prohibition movement enlisted enormous energy from dry ministers and laypeople, especially women.

Modernizing the Methodists

Methodism was transformed in the mid-th century from a religion of poor people to one of middle class respectability. Enthusiastic groups, clustered in the Holiness Movement, broke away. The transformation is shown by the change in roles of the presiding elder from 1792 through 1908, when the elder was redesignated district superintendent. No longer was the elder supposed to be an inspirational leader; now he was the business and administrative officer. The success of Methodism led to the formation of larger districts, and the number of administrative and managerial responsibilities of the local leaders increased dramatically.[14]

The transformation of Methodism in the 19th century from a religion of the 'unwashed' and uneducated to a denomination of respectability owed much to the denomination's embrace of education. Many of the frontier preachers in the Midwest prized education. Though late in supporting higher education, Methodists, by the mid-19th century, had established more colleges than all but one other denomination. Belief in the efficacy of Christian education for children also contributed to the prominence of education in Methodism.[15]

The collapse of the institution of weekly class meetings in local churches in the late 19th century likewise shows how modernization worked. Class meetings, with a deep examination of the personal (mis)behavior of every member, were central to the frontier stage, but were phased out as Methodists moved to the city. The poor farmers who comprised early Methodism modernized themselves, moved to town, and used the moral standards and interpersonal skills they learned in church to make themselves middle class. Tensions over status arose, particularly when class members outranked their leaders in terms of wealth, education and social standing. Perhaps a mutual quest for perfection could have overcome this tension, but theological change, which emphasized the conversion experience as being absolute rather than a step on the road to perfection, eroded social bonds and lessened the importance of the class meeting. Methodism came to be perceived as a denomination with a major social role in uplifting the community, to the detriment of the class meeting. Expulsion from the meeting now meant excommunication from the church, a punishment that seemed unduly harsh. The worship service displaced the class meeting as the clergy became settled.[16]

The UMC is currently considering embracing “full communion” with the far-left Episcopal Church, thus being able to share clergy and members freely. [17] This is as the UMC has become more accepting of homosexuality and ordained a “non-binary” deacon.[18]

Uplifting the youth

As Methodism sought upwars social respectability in the mid 19th century, churches replaced the primitive emotionalism of camp meeting conversions with a more genteel, intellectual process that led incrementally to conversion. Children's literature published by the Sunday School Union taught the more respectable process of conversion, often through narratives of the lives - and deaths - of children. The Methodists were thus moving away from revivals and toward the notion of "Christian Nurture" (originally explored by Congregationalist Horace Bushnell) that showed that children were the future.[19]

The Epworth League was established as a lay organization intended to keep adolescent boys in the church. While the Epworth League was ostensibly open to both men and women, its real aim was to masculinize a church that was perceived to be dominated by a female membership and female-led organizations. Christie (2006) explores when and how this construction of youthful piety became embedded within Methodism and the impact it had on the shape of church governance. Christie argues that social Christianity, which gained a foothold through the mechanism of the league, was an essentially male-gendered discourse.[20]


Francis Asbury (1745-1816), one of the first Methodist bishops in America, had decreed that 'Our kingdom is not of this world,' but his views had been replaced on the eve of the Civil War with the notion that Methodists must participate wholeheartedly in the political process for the sake of the nation. Methodism played a part in developing sectional alienation in the years preceding the outbreak of the Civil War, as shown by the schism of 1844, when the Methodist Episcopal Church, South split away on the issue of allowing as bishop to own slaves. Voting studies indicate that before the Civil War the Methodists voted Democratic by small margins; by 1870 they were the core of the Republican Party and remain so to this day.[21] The victory of Lincoln and the Republican Party in the election of 1860 was heralded by many Methodists as the arrival of the kingdom of God in America. That victory realized a multiple vision: freedom for slaves, freedom from the terror unleashed on godly abolitionists in border states, release from the slave power's diabolical grip on church and state, and a new direction for the Union.[22]

Holiness Movement

The Holiness movement rejected the middle class formalities of the mainline Methodists and sought an authentic religious experience. The leader was Phoebe Palmer (1807-1874), the most influential Methodist woman of her generation. After her death her followers broke away from the Methodists and set up their own Holiness and Pentecostal churches. Palmer's theology produced a laicized ministry and offered both parents and children of the second and third generations of believers a formula to gain assurance of total sanctification as a gift from God. Her "Altar Covenant" linked Scripture, sacred song, and physical setting to form the way to full redemption. The altar in Holiness became the focal point of worship, in accordance with Palmer's beliefs.[23]

The Holiness movement influenced the transformation of the Methodist camp meeting in the later 19th century. The frontier camp meeting that had focused on the conversion experience during the first part of the century ultimately evolved into a system of summer camps and conferences. Holiness camps were established on permanent campgrounds in natural surroundings. Here families could escape the evils of urban life and renew spiritual values. The focus was on nurturing the faith of those already converted. The camps also emphasized religious education.[24]

Changing theology

Wesley's American followers did not consider him a theologian. Initial inattention to Wesley's theology stemmed in part from the American Revolution and the desire to separate from British antecedents. Furthermore, American bishop Francis Asbury lacked any formal theological education and had little interest in theology. The typical early circuit-riding preachers did not share Wesley's belief in the need to be grounded in classic theological texts, and they often claimed believers needed to rely on scripture alone to interpret true religion. Apologetics for Methodist beliefs on grace and sanctification received more attention than did the corpus of Wesley's theology. Churchmen concluded that Wesley did not have a clearly articulated and systematic theology because he had nothing comparable to John Calvin's Institutes and because his theology on some issues changed over time. Methodists ministers saw their theology as part of the larger Arminian tradition, which allowed for everyone to get to heaven. As seminaries to train Methodist preachers emerged, the curriculum marginalized the study of Wesley's theology.[25]

After 1880, Methodist theologians in the United States started to question and reinterpret his doctrines. Scholarship turned away from the inerrancy and infallibility of scripture that Wesley advocated and critics challenged his ideas about original sin and Christology. Theological liberalism found favor, as the new theology responded to rationalism, philosophical idealism, and improved biblical scholarship. Unlike many other denominations, Methodism did not experience theological warfare between proponents of liberal theology and their fundamentalist counterparts. Perhaps the most influential theologian was Borden Parker Bowne (1847-1910), professor at Boston University. He was the first systematizer of American Personalism, arguing that a personal God was the cause of all things and the solution to all problems. Personalism was empirical in that self-experience was at its core. Bowne was known as the 'Socrates of the Methodist Church' for his criticisms of the church, especially its episcopal organization.[26]

In the 20th century, Wesley's theology received even more critical analysis. Though some sought to demonstrate how Wesley's theology applied to modern issues, his theology, as he expressed it, had little following. However, a conservative response did develop among some Methodists that remained true to religious orthodoxy and offered reasoned critiques of liberal doctrines. In the late 20th century, Methodist theologians rediscovered Wesley as they became intrigued by contemporary intellectual developments and sought to reform theology to embrace them. They used Wesley's writings selectively to show how he was connected to modern movements.[27]


Local congregations are managed by a yearly “charge conference” and send an elected lay delegate to the annual conference in a geographic area, which includes all the local clergy. Each of the 75 annual conferences participate in one of the five jurisdictional regional conferences. A national general conference is held every four years with one thousand delegates, evenly divided between clergy and laity. It sets broad policy appoints one bishop. A Council of Bishops and numerous commissions, boards, and agencies govern the church in accord with historic traditions.

Clergy today

Of the Methodist clergy nationwide, 79% are men and 89% are white; the average age is 51, with 19 years experience in the ministry. Over 40% live in the South and nearly one-third in the Midwest; only about one-sixth are found in the Northeast and one-tenth in the West. About half of the UMC pastors live in small towns; a fourth live in small cities and the last quarter live in major cities. About one in five congregations are primarily working-class groups, two-fifths are middle class, and the rest mixed by class. Over 90% have graduated from college, and over 80% are seminary graduates. About one in four has attended graduate school. Methodist policy is to keep rotating ministers, who spend an average of ten years with one church then are reassigned.[28]

Theologically the clergy are mostly orthodox. Over 80% believe that "Jesus will return to earth one day," and more than two-thirds believe in the Virgin Birth. 60% say that the devil actually exists and that "there is no other way to salvation but through belief in Jesus Christ." Only a third say that the Bible is the "inerrant Word of God" and that "Adam and Eve were real people." Two-thirds endorsed the historical Methodist focus on individual sanctification. In terms of self-labels, 63% call themselves "mainline"; 51% say they are "evangelical"; and 49% called themselves "ecumenical.". (The categories overlapped heavily).

Politically the clergy are mildly liberal on social issues. Democrats slightly outnumbered Republicans by 48% to 41% in 2000, but they voted 46% to 46% for Gore and Bush. Only 30% either took a stand on a political issue from the pulpit or prayed publicly for any political candidate that year


Methodist Conferences & missions in 1904


Methodist missionary and physician William Scranton established the first Methodist hospital, later named Si Pyung Won, in Seoul, Korea, in 1885. Meta Howard arrived in 1887 and established Po Kyu Nyo Koan, a woman's hospital in Seoul. Other Methodist medical missions followed. Rosetta Sherwood Hall opened Baldwin Dispensary in 1893, which became the Lillian Harris Memorial Hospital, the major hospital for women, in Seoul. Hall moved in 1894 to the medical mission at Pyeng Yang established by her husband, William J. Hall. She subsequently expanded that facility to become the women's hospital Kwang He Nyo Won. The medical mission was the main reason for the rapid growth of Korean Methodism.[29]

Current Political Views

The United Methodist Church believes that all economic and political systems are ultimately under the rule of God. They agree that the role of government is to protect its citizen's freedom and guarantee the rights of its people to adequate food, clothing and education. They stress that the world's wealth should be shared so that no person is in economic distress.[30] However, the members of the United Methodist Church are quite diverse politically. For example, both Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton [31] and Republican President George W. Bush [32] are members of the church.

Death Penalty

The United Methodist Church is officially opposed to capital punishment and urges its elimination in the world. The church became first officially opposed to the death penalty at its 1956 General Conference in Minneapolis. They believe that "all human life is sacred and created by God" and that the death penalty limits the possibility of reconciliation with Jesus Christ [33]


John Wesley determined that war was the result of sin. Self-defense could justify the use of violence, but he generally held that Christian perfection required believers to show love and mercy to their oppressors. Wesley also thought that state power came from God, so subjects owed obedience to rulers. Therefore, Wesley believed that the American Revolution was, in effect, an effort to usurp God's power rightly invested in Britain's King George III. Some Methodists in the colonies heeded Wesley's calls for obedience to authority and pacifism, but many joined the Patriot cause because of loyalty to their region, colony, or hometown.[34]

Today the United Methodist Church believes that war is incompatible with Christianity. It urges that war be used only as a last resort.[35]

Regarding war, the Social Principles state:

We believe war is incompatible with the teachings and example of Christ. We therefore reject war as a usual instrument of national foreign policy and insist that the first moral duty of all nations is to resolve by peaceful means every dispute that arises between or among them; that human values must outweigh military claims as governments determine their priorities; that the militarization of society must be challenged and stopped; that the manufacture, sale, and deployment of armaments must be reduced and controlled; and that the production, possession, or use of nuclear weapons be condemned. Consequently, we endorse general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.


The United Methodist Church has taken a stand in support of the sanctity of an unborn human life. It opposes the morality of abortion when used as a form of birth control or gender selection. On the other hand, the church recognizes that irreversible damage may be done to a mother after an unacceptable pregnancy and that other such tragic conflicts may justify abortion. Consequently, the church has endorsed the legal right of women to choose abortion and has contributed financially to various state election campaigns in support of those opposing an effort to outlaw or restrict abortion on demand.

It also opposes partial-birth abortion, except when the life of the mother is threatened. The UMC believes that government laws and regulations do not provide all the guidance required by the informed Christian conscience and urges that prayer and thoughtful consideration precede all abortions.[36]

Separation of Church and State

The United Methodist Church believes that the attempt to influence the public policy of government is the most effective means available to churches to serve the interests of humanity and to ensure that power and order are made to serve the ends of justice and freedom for all people. It supports the First Amendment to the United States constitution, that ensures that no law should respect an establishment of religion or prohibit practice of religion. The UMC believes that, in a pluralistic society, churches should not seek the authority of government to conform to their particular morals. Instead they should influence public opinion and inform the consequences of immoral actions that the government does not prohibit.[37]

LGBT inclusion

The homosexuality issues within the United Methodist Church have caused a schism over 7,600 Churches have left the UMC so far. Most of those churches leaving have joined the new Global_Methodist_Church [38]

See also



  • Andrews, Dee E. The Methodists and Revolutionary America, 1760-1800: The Shaping of an Evangelical Culture. (2000) 367 pp.; stress on cities like Baltimore
  • Cameron, Richard M., ed. Methodism and Society in Historical Perspective, 4 vol., (1961)
  • Clark, Robert D. The Life of Matthew Simpson (1956), leading bishop of the Civil War era
  • Harmon, Nolan B., ed. The Encyclopedia of World Methodism, (1974) ISBN 0-687-11784-4.
  • Hatch, Nathan O. The Democratization of American Christianity (1989) credits the Methodists and Baptists for making Americans more equalitarian
  • Hempton, David. Methodism: Empire of the Spirit, (2005) ISBN 0-300-10614-9, major new interpretive history. Hempton concludes that Methodism was an international missionary movement of great spiritual power and organizational capacity; it energized people of all conditions and backgrounds; it was fueled by preachers who made severe sacrifices to bring souls to Christ; it grew with unprecedented speed, especially in America; it then sailed too complacently into the twentieth century.
  • Johnson, Charles A. The Frontier Camp Meeting: Religion's Harvest Time (1955) online edition
  • Lyerly, Cynthia Lynn. Methodism and the Southern Mind, 1770-1810 (1998). intellectual history
  • Mathews, Donald G. Slavery and Methodism: A Chapter in American Morality, 1780-1845 (1965);
  • Meyer, Donald. The Protestant Search for Political Realism, 1919-1941, (1988) in ACLS e-books
  • Rawlyk, G.A. The Canada Fire: Radical Evangelicalism in British North America, 1775-1812 (1994)
  • Richey, Russell E. et al. eds. United Methodism and American Culture. Vol. 1, Ecclesiology, Mission and Identity (1997); Vol. 2. The People(s) Called Methodist: Forms and Reforms of Their Life (1998); Vol. 3. Doctrines and Discipline (1999); Vol. 4, Questions for the Twenty-First Century Church. (1999), historical essays by scholars; focus on 20th century
  • Richey, Russell E. Early American Methodism (1991)
  • Richey, Russell E. and Kenneth E. Rowe, eds. Rethinking Methodist History: A Bicentennial Historical Consultation (1985), historiographical essays by scholars
  • Schmidt, Jean Miller Grace Sufficient: A History of Women in American Methodism, 1760-1939, (1999)
  • Schneider, A. Gregory. The Way of the Cross Leads Home: The Domestication of American Methodism (1993)
  • Semple, Neil The Lord's Dominion: The History of Canadian Methodism (1996) 565pp
  • Sutton, William R. Journeymen for Jesus: Evangelical Artisans Confront Capitalism in Jacksonian Baltimore (1998) 351 pp.
  • Sweet, William Warren Methodism in American History, (1954) 472 p.
  • Tipton, Steven M. Public Pulpits: Methodists and Mainline Churches in the Moral Argument of Public Life (2008) excerpt and text search
  • Tucker, Karen B. Westerfield. American Methodist Worship (2001) excerpt and text search; onlin at Questia
  • Wigger, John H. Taking Heaven by Storm: Methodism and the Rise of Popular Christianity in America, (1998) 269pp; focus on 1770-1910
  • Wigger, John H.. and Nathan O. Hatch, eds. Methodism and the Shaping of American Culture (2001) excerpt and text search, essays by scholars
  • Wigger, John H. Taking Heaven by Storm: Methodism and the Rise of Popular Christianity in America (1998) excerpt and text search

African Americans

  • Campbell, James T. Songs of Zion: The African Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States and South Africa, (1995) ACLS e-book; online at Questia
  • George, Carol V.R. Segregated Sabbaths: Richard Allen and the Rise of Independent Black Churches, 1760-1840, (1973)
  • Montgomery, William G. Under Their Own Vine and Fig Tree: The African-American Church in the South, 1865-1900, (1993) * Walker, Clarence E. A Rock in a Weary Land: The African Methodist Episcopal Church During the Civil War and Reconstruction, (1982)
  • Wills, David W. and Newman, Richard, eds. Black Apostles at Home and Abroad: Afro-American and the Christian Mission from the Revolution to Reconstruction, (1982)

Primary sources

  • Richey, Russell E., Rowe, Kenneth E. and Schmidt, Jean Miller (eds.) The Methodist Experience in America: a sourcebook, (2000) ISBN 0-687-24673-3 – 756 p. of original documents
  • Sweet, W. W., ed. Religion on the American Frontier. Vol. IV, 1783-1840: The Methodists, A Collection of Source Materials (1964) online review 800pp of documents


  1. https://cdnsc.umc.org/-/media/umc-media/2020/01/03/15/48/Protocol-of-Reconciliation-and-Grace-through-Separation
  2. Eric Baldwin, "'The Devil Begins to Roar': Opposition to Early Methodists in New England." Church History 2006 75(1): 94-119
  3. John H. Wigger, "Taking Heaven by Storm: Enthusiasm and Early American Methodism, 1770-1820" Journal of the Early Republic 1994 14(2): 167-194 in JSTOR
  4. Peter Feinman, "Itinerant Circuit-riding Minister: Warrior of Light in a Wilderness of Chaos." Methodist History 2006 45(1): 43-53
  5. Eric R. Crouse, "Methodist Encounters: Confronting the Western and Urban Frontiers of 19th-century America." Methodist History 2002 40(3): 157-167
  6. Tucker (2001)
  7. Christopher M. Shoemaker, "A Small Work: the Story of Helenor Alter Davisson, Methodism's First Ordained Woman." Methodist History 2003 41(2): 3-11
  8. Dee E. Andrews, The Methodists and Revolutionary America, 1760-1800: The Shaping of an Evangelical Culture (2000)
  9. William R. Sutton, Journeymen for Jesus: Evangelical Artisans Confront Capitalism in Jacksonian Baltimore (1998)
  10. Sutton, Journeymen for Jesus (1998)
  11. W. Harrison Daniel, "Wilhelm Nast (1807-1899): Founder of German-speaking Methodism in America and Architect of the Methodist Episcopal Church Mission in Europe," Methodist History 2001 39(3): 154-166
  12. Schneider (1993) pp. 82, 115
  13. Matthew T. Herbst, "'The Moral Hurt of Novel Reading': Methodism and American Fiction, 1865-1914." Methodist History 2006 44(4): 239-250
  14. J. Dennis Williams, "From Presiding Elder to District Superintendent: the Development of an Office in Episcopal Methodism from 1792 to 1908," Methodist History 2002 40(4): 255-265
  15. Douglas Montagna, "Education and the Refinement of 19th-century Methodism in the Midwest" Methodist History 2006 44(2): 94-104
  16. Charles Edward Whites, "The Decline of the Class Meeting," Methodist History 2002 40(4): 207-215
  17. [1]
  18. [2]
  19. David Sokol, "Portrayals of Childhood and Race in Sunday School Conversion Narratives, 1827-1852," Methodist History 2001 40(1): 3-16
  20. Nancy Christie, "Young Men and the Creation of Civic Christianity in Urban Methodist Churches, 1880-1914" Canadian Historical Association Journal 2006 17: 79-105
  21. Paul Kleppner, The Third Electoral System, 1853-1892: Parties, Voters, and Political Cultures (1979) online in Questia
  22. Richard Carwardine, "Methodists, Politics, and the Coming of the American Civil War," Church History 2000 69(3): 578-609
  23. Charles Edwin Jones, "The Posthumous Pilgrimage of Phoebe Palmer," Methodist History 1997 35(4): 203-213; Charles Edward White, The Beauty of Holiness: Phoebe Palmer as Theologian, Revivalist, Feminist, and Humanitarian (1986).
  24. Charles H. Lippy, "The Camp Meeting in Transition: The Character and Legacy of the Late Nineteenth Century." Methodist History 1995 34(1): 3-17. 0026-1238
  25. Randy L. Maddox, "Respected Founder/neglected Guide: the Role of Wesley in American Methodist Theology," Methodist History 1999 37(2): 71-88
  26. Rufus Burrow, Jr., "Borden Parker Bowne: the First Thoroughgoing Personalist," Methodist History 1997 36(1): 44-54
  27. H. O. (Tom) Thomas, "Whenceforth Wesley: John Wesley's Theology from Then to Now." Methodist History 2005 43(4): 258-272; Glen Spann, "Theological Transition Within Methodism: the Rise of Liberalism and the Conservative Response," Methodist History 2005 43(3): 198-212
  28. See John C. Green, "United Methodist Church" in Pulpit and Politics: Clergy in American Politics at the Advent of the Millennium ed. by Corwin E. Smidt. (2004) pp 83-100, online edition
  29. Gunshik Shim, "Methodist Medical Mission in Korea" Methodist History 2007 46(1): 34-46
  30. http://www.umc.org/site/c.lwL4KnN1LtH/b.1713687/k.1AAB/MethoPedia.htm
  31. http://pewforum.org/religion08/profile.php?CandidateID=2
  32. http://www.adherents.com/people/pb/George_W_Bush.html
  33. http://www.umc.org/site/c.lwL4KnN1LtH/b.2248845/k.5F14/Death_Penalty_Overview.htm
  34. Jessie Shuman Larkins, "John Wesley among the Colonies: Wesleyan Theology in the Face of the American Revolution." Methodist History 2007 45(4): 232-243
  35. http://www.umc.org/site/c.lwL4KnN1LtH/b.1696621/k.8834/War_Overview.htm
  36. http://archives.umc.org/interior.asp?mid=1732
  37. http://www.umc.org/site/c.lwL4KnN1LtH/b.1682267/k.6E19/Church__Politics_Overview.htm
  38. https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2023/december/united-methodist-church-split-total-umc-disaffiliation-lgbt.html

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