Being Methodist

Logo for the United Methodist Church

We are United Methodists.

What We Believe: The people of The United Methodist Church are putting our faith in action by making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. 

Protestant Denomination. The people of The United Methodist Church are part of the second largest Protestant denomination in the United States. Through the power of our connection, we are making a positive difference in more than 125 countries. 

John Wesley. United Methodist Church traces its roots back to 1739 when Anglican clergyman, John Wesley, and his hymn writing brother, Charles, began a movement within the Church of England that emphasized faith as the core of life. While studying at Oxford, the brothers and several other students formed a group devoted to disciplined Christian living known as the Holy Club.  Outsiders labeled them “Methodists” to describe their systematic way of living. Influenced by the Moravians, the brothers Wesley began preaching an evangelistic message with an emphasis on holiness and social justice.  After being banned from preaching in established pulpits, the Wesleys began preaching in homes and open fields, wherever they could find an audience.  They did not intend to create a new church but rather to revitalize the Church of England.

Methodism in America. Soon, however, Methodism spread to America, and in 1784, a new denomination was established known as the Methodist Episcopal Church. Methodism flourished in America, becoming one of the largest denominations in the country.  In 1968, the United Methodist Church was created by the merger of the Methodist Church with the Evangelical United Brethren Church.  Today, the United Methodist Church is a worldwide denomination with nearly ten million members serving the mission of Jesus Christ. 

The United Methodist Church shares a common heritage with other Christian denominations, including:

  • conviction that God has mercy and love for all people;
  • belief in the triune God, revealed in three persons as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit;
  • faith in the mystery of salvation through Jesus Christ.
  • As United Methodists, we rely on scripture, tradition, experience, and reason to guide us on our faith journey, and we respect the diversity of our beliefs.

United Methodists believe that God’s grace is available to all, that faith and action are partners, that salvation is experienced personally and socially, and that the church is a community of Christ’s disciples who seek to share in God’s mission.

Membership at First Church.  If you are considering membership, please let us know on the Contact Us! page or call the Church Office.  You would be asked to join a  New Member Classwhich provides further insight into our church and the United Methodist denomination.