Methodism





A movement that grew out of the Anglican Church, founded by JOHN WESLEY (ordained an Anglican priest in 1728) in 1739. He had been impressed by the work of the Moravian Brethren. The Methodist Church emphasizes the practice of Christian principles. In open air sermons, Wesley and his fellow, George Whitefield, attracted a large audience. Wesley travelled and preached tirelessly, organizing his followers in local 'societies'.
An open breach with the Anglican Church occurred in 1784, when Wesley ordained ministers and a superintendent who were to lead the Methodist community in America.

The Anglican Church, in the 18th century, by many was regarded an instrument of the government, supporting the political system as well as the local authorities. Membership, i.e. the payment of dues to the church, was mandatory. Wesley realized that the spiritual and material needs of large groups of society were not addressed, and it is there where he looked for both a field of activity and future members of his movement.
The establishment of the Methodist Church in England - as a separate church - was an accident in history; Wesley did not plan for it. The Methodist Church, after formal separation from the Church of England, established a hierarchy with bishops at the helm. In England the Methodist Church forms a minority; in the United States it grew into one of the larger denominations.
Religious revival rallies were a feature characteristic to methodists. The Methodists promoted both the ABOLITIONIST MOVEMENT (for the abolition of slavery) and the TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT (for the van on alcohol).







EXTERNAL
FILES
Article Methodism, from Catholic Encyclopedia
Biography of John Wesley, from BBC; from Main British Abolitionist Page
DOCUMENTS
REFERENCE



This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on September 12th 2003, last revised on November 14th 2004

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