Two words, along with Wesleyan, used to describe the movement resulting from the work of John Wesley and his brother Charles. The movement had its very earliest expression in the Holy Club at Oxford. There John and Charles Wesley and others joined together in a highly structured and disciplines pattern of worship, prayer and study. Those outside the group derisively called the groups "Methodists" because of their highly methodical approach to their religion. Then name was later applied to the followers of the Wesleys as they actively preached throughout England. Methodist and Methodism are used to refer to a large family of churches and denominations throughout the world.
Source: A Dictionary for United Methodists, Alan K. Waltz, Copyright 1991, Abingdon Press. Used by Permission.