The Methodist Church History & Global Outreach

History Of The Methodist Church

submitted by Thomas Battles

In the 18th century two

brothers named John and

Charles Wesley started the

“Holy Club” as they were

at Oxford. This social club

was a gathering place to

meet for prayer and to

read the Bible amongst

their friends. As the club

grew they established a

systematic way of living a

holy life. Derided for their

methodical planning, John

Wesley took the name

“Methodist” as a badge of honour in his quest to lead a good life and spread the word

of God.

Wesley’s methodical planning soon paid off – as he sought to reform the church, many

Anglican clergy became known as Methodists as they adopted his theories. Soon the

movement spread and after Wesley’s death the Methodists became a separate


As the years passed the new denomination spread across England and then to the

Americas. Now the Methodist church is active globally

The Methodist Church has always accepted people of all parts of society. Being born

from a social club, we emphasize the importance of social connections.

Many Methodists rely on 4 distinct areas to learn and apply their Christian faith. These

areas are scripture (the Holy Bible), tradition (hymns, creeds, and prayer), reason (love

God with your mind and heart both) and experience (reflecting and praying about our

life’s work and interactions)

The Methodist church is not inaccessible – in fact 3 put 4 people who attend church say

they have some kind of role in their local or area congregation. Ordinary lay people play

an important part in our church, and helps keep the word of God accessible to all.

This is also a testament to our church’s rich history. John Wesley wanted to speak the

plain truth to plain people – not obscure the Bible or create an atmosphere where good

and decent working people could not discover the love of God for themselves.


What We Believe

One of the fundamental tenants of the Methodist church is that all can be saved. No

person is beyond the love of God and everyone can find salvation. As we navigate this

world that sometimes seems unjust, unfair and sinful is it comforting to know that

salvation awaits us all.

As Christians, the Methodist church believes that Jesus preached to us the gospel of the

Kingdom of God. Through is death and resurrection all may be saved and forgiven. By

opening ourselves to the Holy Spirit, God can help us fully live life.

Methodists believe in what John Wesley –the church’s founder - calls 'social holiness' or

the need for us to meet and grow with other Christians wherever we may be. This is

why the Methodist church is active in ministry outreach all over the globe.


The United Methodist Church Around The Globe

Today the Methodist Church is active around the globe. Starting from a humble British

original as a social circle for like-minded Christians, the modern church has stayed

socially active in order to spread the good news of Jesus and God.

In the Caribbean, Methodist minister started preaching in 1760.

In Africa, over 20 million people follow the Church across the south and east of Africa.

Starting in the very late 1700’s in South Africa, now a days there are followers in

Ghana, Mozambique, Sudan, East Africa, South Africa, Congo-Zaire and Liberia.

Asia is also a stronghold of the Methodist church. India, China, Korea, and the

Philippines are all countries with active Methodist congregations.

And of course, all across Europe you can find Methodist Churches.

One interesting fact is that the Methodist church is always doing missionary work

around the world. By doing whatever they can to help local people, mission volunteers

are spreading the Christian faith via their good works.


Interesting Facts About The Methodist Church

  • 75 million people worldwide that follow some form of the Methodist faith.
  • The symbol of the United Methodist Church is a cross and flame which symbolizes the Holy Spirit and God through Christ.
  • Methodism traditionally believe in free will and not predestination.
  •  Francis Asbury (one of the first bishops of the American Methodist Church) traveled 270,000 miles and preached 16,000 sermons.
  •  The United Methodist Church is in mission in more than 125 countries.
  • The Methodist movement began in England in the early 1700s
  • There are more than 130,000 Methodist volunteers around the world right now.



More Reading

Below are some more sites about the traditions and current outreach of the Methodist

Church both around the world and in the UK.

The Methodist Church in Britain - is the homepage

of the Methodist Church in Britain and has many useful pages about history, local

churches, and global outreach.

United Methodist Church (US) - is the official online ministry of The

United Methodist Church. The denominational website represents The United Methodist

Church in the digital world, carrying out our charge as Christians to make disciples of

Jesus Christ.

Global Methodist Outreach – This is the website for the Methodist Church’s global

ministries and their mission initiatives. Also has information about how you can help

spread the good news of Jesus around the world

Here is a site with an overview of the Methodist beliefs on baptism, christening,

and confirmation as well as christening gifts and confirmation classes in the UK. Clarifying Christianity makes it easy to

understand Christianity and the Bible, explain the apparent contradictions, and reveal

its relevance to today’s world.

Save historic churches in England with the National Church Trust and the Churches’ Conservation Trust


Final Words

Thank you to all church goers and believers around the World. May we all do Christ’s

work in whatever way possible.