Formed as a result of the separation from The Methodist Episcopal Church. Reflecting the debate in that nation over slavery, pastors and members of The Methodist Episcopal Church found themselves embroiled in a strong controversy. At the General Conference of 1844, a Plan of Separation was voted on which would have facilitated an orderly division of the denomination over a period of time, largely along regional or geographic lines. However, the leaders of the southern group immediately set out to establish a separate church. This was done in the first General Conference of 1846 of The Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Though weakened through the period of the Civil War, the new church grew and became a dominant religious force in the southern portion of the nation. In 1939 The Methodist Episcopal Church, South reunited with The Methodist Episcopal Church and The Methodist Protestant Church to form The Methodist Church.
Source: A Dictionary for United Methodists, Alan K. Waltz, Copyright 1991, Abingdon Press. Used by Permission.