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Robert O. Tupper II, representing the Evangelical United Brethren, and Rhonda Renfro, representing the Methodist Church, were the two children chosen to shake hands as part of the ceremony uniting the two denominations into The United Methodist Church, on April 23, 1968, in Dallas. Renfro, now 57, says event organizers wanted the symbolism of a black child and white child shaking hands to reinforce the new denomination’s commitment to racial reconciliation. Photo courtesy of the United Methodist Commission on Archives and History.

Witnesses recall birth of The United Methodist Church

They were in Dallas, 50 years ago, as a new denomination formed from the Methodist Church and Evangelical United Brethren Church. Read More

Voices of the Methodist Central Jurisdiction

The Central Jurisdiction was a racially segregated body of the Methodist Church from 1939-1968. In this audio slideshow, former members of the jurisdiction discuss its history. View

A woman holds a sign during an April 4, 2018, peace and unity rally. The rally followed the Commission on Religion and Race’s participation in the United to End Racism Prayer Walk in Washington. Photo courtesy of the Commission on Religion and Race.

Religion and Race celebrates 50 years

Formed as a commission to monitor the church’s integration efforts, the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race has expanded its inclusion advocacy worldwide. Read More

Two children shake hands as part of the Uniting Conference of The United Methodist Church in 1968. Photo courtesy of Archives and History; Africa University’s 2017 commencement. Photo courtesy of Africa University; Ciony Ayo-Eduarte (center) leads survivors of Typhoon Haiyan to an UMCOR food distribution in Tacloban, Philippines. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Timeline of The United Methodist Church

Highlights of notable events and actions of the church from 1968 to 2018. ' } Read More

Photo from the 1968 General Conference, held April 21-May 4, 1968, Dallas. Racial segregation was one of the main issues confronting the merger that created The United Methodist Church. Photo courtesy of United Methodist Commission on Archives and History.

50 years on, Central Jurisdiction’s shadow looms

The union that created The United Methodist Church also abolished its racially segregated institution. That history is a reminder that the church still struggles with race relations. Read More

Women pray during a worship service on Christian unity in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo. The Church of Christ in Congo, an ecumenical Christian organization that includes United Methodists, sponsored the women’s event. Photo by Philippe Kituka Lolonga, UMNS.

Group preaches Christian unity to Congolese women

Church of Christ in Congo, an ecumenical organization that includes United Methodists, is promoting peace in communities often divided by tribal, ethnic or religious conflicts. Read More

West Ohio Bishop Gregory V. Palmer preaches during opening worship for the April 12-14 meeting of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries in Atlanta. Photo by Jennifer Silver, General Board of Global Ministries.

Mission agency makes King 50th a focus

Through site visits in Atlanta, drama and worship, directors and staff of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries honor the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Read More

Members of United Methodist International English Church worship with the congregation of   Mvululu United Methodist Church during a March missionary trip in Mvululu, Democratic Republic of Congo. All offerings from the service remain in Mvululu. Photo by Pierre T. Omadjela, UMNS.

City, rural churches build ‘friendship’ in Congo

Partnership allows church members to spread the good news while also helping struggling congregation with a new chapel and other needs. Read More

Bishops process during the May 10 opening of the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. The Council of Bishops asked the Judicial Council to hold a special session this spring and the denomination’s top court has agreed. File photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS.

Judicial Council announces special session

At the request of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, the church’s top court will hold a special session in May. Read More

North Texas Conference Bishop Mike McKee leads discussion about the Commission on a Way Forward. McKee has been holding a series of meetings across the conference, and this was one held April 12, 2018, at First United Methodist Church in Richardson, Texas. Photo by Sam Hodges, UMNS.

Hitting the road for Way Forward

Bishops take different approaches to sharing about effort to hold the church together amid conflict over homosexuality Read More