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Our History

Methodism in the U.S. dates back to 1736, when John and Charles Wesley came to the New World to spread the movement they began as students in England. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UM News.

The United Methodist Church was created in 1968, but Methodism dates back to John and Charles Wesley who sought to spread the Methodist movement they began as student small group at Oxford. At about the same time, people like Philip Otterbein and Martin Boehm were leading similar movements that helped people grow in their faith. Those two strands of Christianity came together decades later to form The United Methodist Church. 

In this section, you will find stories and useful links to help you learn more about the roots of our denomination and trace developments that led us to today.

Fall scenes taken on the campus of United Methodist affiliated Drew University located in Madison, New Jersey. The larger than life statue of the Rev. Francis Asbury is located near the front of campus. A UMNS photo by Kathleen Barry, November 2010.
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Francis Asbury

Francis Asbury

The first bishop of Methodism traveled thousands of miles on horseback sharing the Gospel and organizing a church.

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Explore the roots of The United Methodist Church (and predecessor denominations) to understand why The UMC is the way that it is...and where it might be going.
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Podcasts

Un-tied Methodism: History podcast

Explore the roots of The United Methodist Church (and predecessor denominations) to understand why The UMC is the way that it is... and where it might be going.

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