WESLEYAN, OUR CHURCH
In the 1700’s, Christianity experienced a vital and dynamic
movement that swept across England. This awakening was largely the result of
the labors of a few men, especially John Wesley, Charles Wesley, and George
Whitefield. It was this eighteenth century English revival under the work of
John Wesley that would eventually give birth to the Wesleyan movement.
John Wesley, born in 1703 in Epworth, England was not always a man
who enjoyed a personal, saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. In spite of the fact
that he was already an ordained minister and had also served as a missionary to
America, it was not until May of 1738 while attending a small Bible study on a
street called Aldersgate in London, England that he felt his heart strangely
warmed by the assurance of personal salvation while someone was reading from
the Preface of Martin Luther’s Commentary on the book of Romans. He then
discovered that sanctification (growth that comes after one’s conversion) and a
life of holiness was also received by faith. Rejecting the Calvinism (the
teachings of a man named John Calvin who had lived and pastored in Geneva,
Switzerland in the 1500’s) of his day, he emphasized four great biblical
1. Salvation was provided for all
men. (Calvin said it was only for a few)
2. Salvation was provided for all sin.
3. Salvation was certified by the
personal witness of the Holy Spirit.
4. Salvation was received by faith.
With his brother, Charles, John Wesley reached out to the
unchurched through preaching outdoors (beginning in 1739) to crowds on their
way to and from work. A surge of spiritual renewal followed, beginning first in
Bristol, England, which lasted over the next 50 years, bringing a moral
transformation to England.
The movement, known as Methodism, spread across the British Isles,
and Wesley traveled thousands of miles a year to keep in touch with the
congregation. His concern for the common people led him to help the needy,
provide medical aid, establish a lending fund, start schools and encourage
Methodists to vote. His influence helped regulate child labor and end slavery.
In the 1760’s, Methodism was carried to the American colonies and less than one
hundred years later the Wesleyan Methodist movement began.
The early American Methodists (as Wesley’s followers were to be
called) were largely faithful to Wesley’s emphasis on doctrine and Christian
conduct. It was not long until many within the church began to feel that the
social issue of slavery could not be condoned in the light of the teachings of
Jesus Christ. As this opposition to slavery became more pronounced in the
North, reform movements began. It was in the midst of the agitation for the
abolition of human slavery that the Wesleyan Methodist Church of America was
born in Utica, New York in 1843. It was a reform movement led by courageous
men, chief of whom was Orange Scott (1800-47), who would not be intimidated
into silence on a moral issue. The new organization was called The Wesleyan
Methodist Connection of America.
On June 26, 1968 the Wesleyan Methodist Church of America and the
Pilgrim Holiness Church were united to form the Wesleyan Church. Our
denomination has over 3,000 churches in nearly every state of the union and
divided into 39 districts. Our commitment is to Jesus Christ and the Great Commission
So now you know who we are.
anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves
us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute,
or in danger, or threatened with death? No, despite all these things,
overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. Romans 8:35,37 NLT
WESLEYAN, WHO WE ARE
Wesleyans : Who we are.
The name “Wesleyan” is in honor of John Wesley, a priest in the Church of
England who was the inspiration and founder of the Methodist Movement. Wesley
was an outstanding Oxford scholar, yet regarded himself as “a man of one book,”
the Bible. It was the Bible which motivated his vision for offering Christ to
the common people of England in a way that led to that nation’s greatest
spiritual revival. It was Biblical truth that inspired John Wesley to develop a
school for orphans, job programs, and medical assistance for the poor, efforts
to reform inhumane prisons, and arguments for the abolition of slavery, a great
evil of his time. Confidence in the Bible as “the only and sufficient rule for
Christian faith and practice” (to use Wesley’s own words) is still a hallmark
of The Wesleyan Church today. We bring the Message of Love and Hope to the
people where they are, no matter who they are. The Wesleyan Church is a Spirit-led, praying movement
called to evangelize and make disciples
of all people by
equipping believers, developing leaders, multiplying churches, and transforming