Our Beliefs

From the Global Methodist Church Website:

Since its inception, God’s Spirit has enlivened the Methodist movement. In the 1720s John and Charles Wesley and friends at Oxford University met together to deepen their Christian faith through daily, practical spiritual disciplines. Derided by others as a “new sect of Methodists” for their “methodical” ways of practicing the faith and holding one another accountable to it, the small group embraced the insult and persevered in their fellowship. And so they and the millions who followed after them have ever since been known as “the people called Methodists.”


Our Heritage of Faith


1. As a Wesleyan expression of Christianity, the Global Methodist Church professes the Christian faith, established on the confession of Jesus as messiah, the Son of God, and resurrected Lord of heaven and earth. This confession, expressed by Simon Peter in Matthew 16:16-19 and Acts 2:32, is foundational. It declares Jesus is the unique incarnate Word of God, and He lives today, calling all to receive Him as savior, and as the one to whom all authority has been given.

2. This faith has been tested and proved since its proclamation by Mary Magdalene, the first witness to the resurrection. It was defended by the women and men of the early church, many of whom gave their lives as testimony. Their labor, enabled and inspired by the Holy Spirit, resulted in the canon of scripture as the sufficient rule both for faith and practice (the Greek word kanon means rule). It formulated creeds such as the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed and the Chalcedonian definition as accurate expressions of this faith.

3. In the sixteenth century, the Protestant reformers preserved this testimony, asserting the primacy of Scripture, the necessity of grace and faith, and the priesthood of all believers. Their doctrinal summations, the Augsburg Confession, the Schleitheim Confession, the Anglican Articles of Religion, and the Heidelberg Catechism, bore witness to this faith.

4. In the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, Pietists in all traditions sought to
emphasize the experiential nature of this faith, as direct encounter with the risen Lord. They worked to develop the fruit of this faith, by the power of the Holy Spirit, in individual and communal life. These pietistic movements influenced many in the reformation traditions, including two Anglican brothers, John and Charles Wesley.

5. Through the organization and published works by these brothers, a distinctly Methodist articulation of Christian faith and life, of “practical divinity,” emerged. Methodism placed particular emphasis on the universal work of grace, the new birth, and the fullness of salvation, entire sanctification or perfection. Methodists created structures and communities alongside the established church to facilitate the mission “to reform the nation, especially the church, and spread scriptural holiness over the land.”

6. As Methodists moved to America, they brought this expression of faith with them.
Although Methodism in England remained loyal to the established church until after John Wesley’s death, the American revolution dictated the formation of a new church, independent of the Church of England. Accordingly, in 1784, while gathered in Baltimore for the “Christmas Conference,” the Methodist Episcopal Church was formally constituted.

7. This new church adopted John Wesley’s revision of the Anglican Articles of Religion, the Methodist General Rules, a liturgy, and ordained the first Methodist clergy. Two other sources of authority were identified: the four volumes that included fifty-three of Wesley’s sermons and his Explanatory Notes on the New Testament. When a constitution was adopted in 1808, the Restrictive Rules protected the Articles and General Rules from revocation or change.

8. Other Methodist expressions of “primitive Christianity” and “the scripture way of
salvation” emerged. German-speaking Americans from pietistic Reformed, Anabaptist, and Lutheran traditions, created organizations with doctrine and discipline nearly identical to the English-speaking Methodist Episcopal Church. The work of Phillip William Otterbein, Martin Boehm, and Jacob Albright established the United Brethren in Christ and the Evangelical Association. A number of African American Methodists, including Richard Allen, Jarena Lee, and James Varick, helped establish the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Zion to address racial discrimination and the injustices of slavery, while preserving doctrine and discipline.

9. Through separations and mergers, Methodist Christians have preserved testimony to the risen and reigning Christ by holding themselves accountable to standards of doctrine and discipline. Beginning with early Methodist work in the Caribbean, this Wesleyan understanding of doctrine has now spread across the globe, flourishing with the unique contributions of many cultures. When The United Methodist Church was formed in 1968, with the merger of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren, both the Methodist Articles of Religion and the Evangelical United Brethren Confession of Faith were accepted as doctrinal standards and deemed “congruent” articulations of this faith. For fifty years, the growing voices of Methodists in Africa, the Philippines, and Europe have joined in the engagement to maintain our doctrinal heritage, promoting fidelity to the doctrinal principles that launched our movement. The Global Methodist Church preserves this heritage.


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