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Archive of features on Our Wesleyan Heritage

 
United Methodists are on the move all over the globe. File photo by Sam Pile.

United Methodism today: Wesley’s movement continues

The roots of The United Methodist Church have spread across the globe. We go where Jesus calls—to worship, serve, connect, and share. Read More

People traveled great distances to attend camp meetings, like this one at Witwen around 1900. Photo courtesy Witwen Camp Meeting Association.

“Fishing with a large net”: United Methodist camp meetings

Francis Asbury praised this early evangelism tool by referencing Jesus’ call to “fish for people.” The format has changed, but some still meet today. Read More

The sanctuary of Lovely Lane United Methodist Church reminds us our founding. Image courtesy Lovely Lane United Methodist Church.

The roots of The United Methodist family tree: Digging deeper

United Methodists share a rich history with the people who shaped our denomination. Through our steps and missteps God continues to work through us to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Read More

John Wesley and his mom Susanna wrote to one another regularly. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.

Like a phone call home: John Wesley’s letters to his mom

These days we may video chat with mom on Mother's Day. Methodism’s founder kept in touch with his mother Susanna too, via the mail. Read More

Artwork for the 50th Anniversary of The United Methodist Church. Design and production by Troy Dossett, United Methodist Communications

The 50th Anniversary of The United Methodist Church

As we look back at the decades since the denomination was formed in 1968, check this page for the latest news and features about #UMC50. Read More

My grace is all you need. 2 Corinthians 12:9. Illustration by Troy Dossett, United Methodist Communications.

The Wesleyan concept of grace

John Wesley preached and wrote often about the amazing grace that leads us into renewed relationship with God. Discover this saving grace in these three-part written and video series. Read More

The Christmas Conference founded the church that would be led by Francis Asbury. Image public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Christmas Conference: 10 days that started a church

The founding conference of the Methodist church in America began on Christmas Eve. Their gift to us is a legacy alive in The United Methodist Church today. Read More

Image portray Susanna Wesley, mother of the founders of Methodism. Courtesy of General Commission on Archives and History.

Susanna Wesley: Mother of Methodism

John and Charles Wesley's mom was a strong woman of faith. “The differences she made have lived on because of the sons that she raised.” View

Interior of Lovely Lane United Methodist Church as seen in January of 2014. Photo by Subodh Atal, shared via Facebook.

Lovely Lane:  A Methodist Birthplace

Dedicated on Nov. 6, 1887, this church became one of our most important buildings. “Your feet are truly on holy ground. Your eyes look upward and you see amazing things.” View

John Wesley, a founder of The United Methodist Church, had a special Holy Spirit moment. Photo by Joe Iovino, United Methodist Communications.

Holy Spirit moments: Learning from Wesley at Aldersgate

On Pentecost, Charles Wesley felt a ‘strange palpitation’ of heart. John’s was ‘strangely warmed’ three days later. We too can prepare to hear God speak. Read More

Pilgrims visit the tomb of John Wesley and learn a valuable lesson for ministry from his epitaph. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.

What we can learn from the words on John Wesley’s tomb

The Methodist movement's founder was remembered as a great evangelist and his epitaph has lessons for every Christian. Read More

John Wesley argued throughout his life against a complete separation from the Church of England. This statue of him stands outside his house in London. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications

What John Wesley teaches about church unity

Wesleyan scholars say that when it comes to Methodism’s founder, the subject of unity gets complicated. Read More

A close-up from a depiction of John Wesley preaching at City Road Chapel in London hangs inside The Old Rectory in Epworth. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications

What counts as Wesleyan orthodoxy?

Christians long have debated the essentials of their faith, and that was no different in John Wesley’s day. Read More

The window at Lincoln College in Oxford features a depiction of the story of Jonah (2nd from the right) that influenced John Wesley. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.

Discovering God’s will: John Wesley’s difficult decision

John Wesley set sail for America on October 21, 1735, after a discernment process that included a Bible story and a stained glass window. Read More

An image of the Wesleys'

Why the Wesleys, and others, came to be called Methodists

Early members of the movement had nicknames like Holy Club, Bible Moths, Sacramentarians, and Enthusiasts. Learn why one name stuck. More

A statue of John Wesley greets visitors to The New Room in Bristol, England. Photo by Joe Iovino, United Methodist Communications.

The method of Methodism expands: Societies and the New Room

Series continues a look at what happened after the Wesleys left Oxford. See how the small group model shaped the Methodist movement. Part 2 of 3. Read More

As a fellow at Lincoln College, John Wesley would have had an office similar to this one dedicated to him. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.

The method of early Methodism: The Oxford Holy Club

Disciple-making groups that form church leaders have been part of our Methodist heritage from the very start. Explore the history of these groups in this three-part series. Read More

Image of Charles Wesley. Courtesy of United Methodist Commission on Archives and History.

Charles Wesley’s Gift of Music

John's younger brother made his own contribution as “the poet laureate and great writer of Methodism.” View

A statue of John Wesley stands outside of Wesley's Chapel in London, one of the many sites visited by the Wesley Pilgrimage in England. Photo by Mike Peel, CC BY-SA 4.0, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

The Wesley Pilgrimage: Walking the path of early Methodists

Visiting the birthplace of the Methodist movement inspires United Methodist clergy and laity in their spiritual journeys and their ministries. Read More

The Rev. Tonya Elmore, pastor at Enterprise First United Methodist Church, takes communion from the Rev. Virginia Kagoro, pastor at Locust Bluff United Methodist Church. Holy Communion was part of the Service of Remembrance at the 2015 Alabama-West Florida Conference on June 1, where 33 clergy and clergy spouses were memorialized. Photo by Luke Lucas, Alabama-West Florida Conference

An open table: How United Methodists understand communion

The sacrament is such a common part of our worship that its uncommon richness can get lost. Learn more about The Lord's Supper. Read More

All baptized persons are members of their local church, the denomination, and the church universal. Photo by Mary Catherine Phillips, Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference.

Renewing waters: How United Methodists understand baptism

In baptism, we reject sin and begin our journey as disciples of Jesus Christ. Learn more of what United Methodists teach about the sacrament. Read More

montage of John Wesley painting and bust by UMCOM with resources from GCAH

Rural Roots of United Methodism

Methodism's connectional system was born when circuit riders rode hundreds of miles to rural communities. Hear stories of those trailblazers through their letters home. View

John Wesley often ministered to the sick  during a life blessed by good health. Photo courtesy of  the General Commission on Archives and History.

Marking John Wesley’s birthday in his words

The founder of Methodism wrote annual reflections that give us a glimpse into how he viewed his life, health and ministry. Read More