|One hundred years of Methodist men?s ministry|
By J. Richard Peck*
March 29, 2007 | NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS)
Men’s ministry dates back in some form to the early days of Methodism, when John Wesley and Charles Wesley established the first holy clubs in the 1720s.
The first Methodist Brotherhoods were created in 1908, a milestone that will be celebrated in 2008 as the United Methodist Men’s organization celebrates its first centennial. Here are some highlights from the past 100 years:
1908 - Meeting in Baltimore, the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church authorizes Methodist Brotherhoods.
1909 - The Otterbein Brotherhood of the Church is organized in the Church of the United Brethren in Christ.
1924 - The General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church authorizes Wesley Brotherhoods.
1931 - The Albright Brotherhood of the Evangelical Church organizes.
1939 - Three branches of Methodism are merged into The Methodist Church.
1940 - The General Conference establishes a General Board of Lay Activities with a Department of Methodist Men.
1942 - The name Methodist Men is adopted, and the first charters are issued.
1946 - Brotherhood of the Evangelical United Brethren Church holds its first convention during the uniting conference of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ and The Evangelical Church.
1952 - Methodist Men Radio Hour originates with 38 stations, growing to more than 400 by 1958.
1953 - Approximately 4,000 people attend the First Methodist Men’s Conference at Purdue University.
1954 - Name of men’s work program of the Evangelical United Brethren Church is changed from Brotherhood to Evangelical United Brethren Men.
United Methodist era
1968 - Methodist Church and The Evangelical United Brethren Church unify into the United Methodist Church. Men’s ministry is combined into United Methodist Men.
1975 - The National Association of Conference Presidents is formed.
1976 - General Conference adopts legislation of United Methodist Men as a section in the Division of Lay Life and Work of the United Methodist Board of Discipleship in Nashville.
1981 - The United Methodist Men’s Foundation is chartered.
1987 - The men’s section of the Board of Discipleship is raised to division status.
1988 - General Conference requires each local church and charge to have an organized unit of United Methodist Men recertified annually.
1992 - The first National Conference on Black Men in Crisis is held at the board.
1996 - General Conference creates the Commission on United Methodist Men.
1998 - The commission publishes a new quarterly magazine, UM Men: Uniting Men and Meaning and conducts the first Black Methodist Men’s Conference at the Atlanta Convention Center.
1999 - With support from the commission, the Society of St. Andrew announces the first national (U.S.) hunger relief advocate.
2001 - A California Eagle Scout seeks commission help to republish the World War II devotional book Strength for Service to God and Country. Cal Turner, chief executive of Dollar General, makes a $1 million gift to the UM Men Foundation, its largest gift ever.
2002 - The commission publishes T-Quest, a small-group resource for men, and 10,000 Strength for Service books are shipped to soldiers serving in Afghanistan.
2005 - The Rev. Joseph Harris resigns as top staff executive to become assistant to the bishop of the Oklahoma Area. Bishop William Morris becomes interim top executive. The commission signs a covenant with Big Brothers/Big Sisters. The United Methodist Church becomes the second largest charter organization of the Boy Scouts of America, with 376,472 youth and 11,864 units meeting in 8,000 United Methodist churches; the scouting ministries are based at the commission.
2006 - The commission moves into new offices on Nashville’s Music Row. The Rev. David Adams is elected top staff executive of the commission.
*Peck is the communications coordinator for the Commission on United Methodist Men.
News media contact: Linda Green, (615) 742-5470 or email@example.com.