Methodism And The Methodist

684 Words3 Pages
There are not many religious movements capable of claiming the social impact like the Methodist. Methodism was an evangelical regeneration movement within the Church of England in the early eighteenth century that extended to the American colonies in the 1760s. In both Britain and America, the original members came mostly from the poorest and most marginal social classes. By 1830 the Methodist Episcopal Church had become the largest religious denomination in the United States despite Methodism split into various denominational forms over the years, the Methodist Episcopal Church's most direct successor, the United Methodist Church, is currently the second largest of the Protestant churches in the United States. Taken together, the Methodist family of denominations remains a powerful influence on the nation's religious culture. The success and popularity of Methodism stems from two mutually reinforcing factors. First, Methodists learned to foster a range of powerful religious experiences that they put at the center of their worship. Second, they learned to channel the religious enthusiasm that came from these experiences into a tightly structured organization. This combination proved peculiarly well suited to reaching out to the newly rising class of British industrial workers, who had been largely ignored by the established church. It also proved effective in evangelizing America's expanding frontier population as well as attracting many people from the established churches in the colonies of the Atlantic seaboard. John Wesley was born in 1703. He received his education in London as well as Oxford. Wesley was ordained as a deacon in the Church of England in 1725 and then a priest in in 1728. Wesley returned to Oxford in 1729 while... ... middle of paper ... ...to encourage the church to reexamine a comfortable position in society and take the knowledge of the gospel beyond the upper and middle classes to evangelize among the poor. However, rather than assume the Church of England to carry evangelical religion to the people, he believed the people might perhaps evangelize themselves and ultimately transform the establishments of the church. Wesley wanted to "reform the nation and spread scriptural holiness over the land" (Church, 2014). John Wesley's great ally in this work was his brother Charles, whose influence on Methodism was chiefly in the hymns that he wrote for the new movement. Among populations with low rates of literacy and at a time when books were uncommon, the hymns of Charles Wesley became crucial instruments for the communication of religious ideas as well as a source of inspiration and communal solidarity.
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