The historical name used for the meeting of the district superintendent with the leadership of a pastoral charge. In 1968 the name of this meeting was changed to Charge Conference. The term Quarterly Conference grew out of the fact that, for Methodism's first century and beyond, it was the responsibility of the presiding elder to visit each pastoral charge four times a year. At this time the presiding elder, now called the district superintendent, conducted official business of the charge. The presiding elder also received a portion of his salary was well as the church's contribution to the denomination's budget. This came to be known as "the quarterage." In this century, the Quarterly Conference came to be held less frequently, finally only annually.
Source: A Dictionary for United Methodists, Alan K. Waltz, Copyright 1991, Abingdon Press. Used by Permission.