Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



followers of a movement in Protestantism that split off from the Anglican Church.

The Methodist movement emerged in England in the 18th century. Its founders were the brothers John and Charles Wesley, around whom in 1729 there congregated a small circle of followers, at first mostly from among Oxford University students. They considered their goal to be methodical regularity in the observance of the injunctions of religion (hence the name Methodists). Under conditions of an incipient industrial revolution and increased capitalist exploitation, the Methodists launched a widespread campaign to strengthen religious sentiment among the English people, establishing religious missions in working areas and preaching the spirit of Christian humility and tolerance.

In worship and dogma, Methodism does not differ essentially from Anglicanism; it merely simplifies its regulations. (For example, the 39 articles of the Anglican creed are reduced in Methodism to 25.) Methodist congregations consist of “classes,” with 12–20 people in each; the classes assemble regularly for praying, listening to sermons, and so on. The congregations are subordinate to district organizations headed by superintendents (in the USA the superintendents are given the title of bishop; therefore, the American Methodist Church is called the Methodist Episcopal Church). The supreme body of the Methodist Church is the annual conference. The World Methodist Council was established in 1881; it convenes world Methodist conferences once every ten years. The Methodist Missionary Society has been in existence since 1813. In the early 1970’s there were approximately 40 million Methodists, mostly in the USA (where Methodism began to spread in the 1760’s), as well as in Great Britain, Australia, the Republic of South Africa, Canada, and former English colonies.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Just four years ago this month Pastor Faye Edmiaston of Bethalto was assigned by the Bishop of the First United Methodist Church to serve as pastor at the First United Methodist in Chester.
Stirling Methodists have played a leading role in persuading the Scottish and UK Methodist Churches to cut out investment in oil, coal and gas companies which don't shift to a low carbon future.
He raised the alarm on Sunday, 19 November at the close of the 29th Annual Session and 63rd Anniversary of the Monrovia District Women Conference of the United Methodist Church held at the David Gueh Memorial United Methodist Church near Du-Port Road, Paynesville in a suburb of Monrovia.
They gathered at Huddersfield Mission to mark the launch of the new Yorkshire West District, which came into being on September 1, the start of the Methodist year.
Cairnshill Methodist, off the Saintfield Road in Castlereagh, on the outskirts of Belfast, was broken into on Thursday night.
"At this point, we have kind of come to the place where we know what the brute facts are," said Matt Berryman, executive director of Reconciling Ministries Network, which advocates for gay and lesbian Methodists. "Most folks, after 40 years of trying legislative solutions, realize they won't work.
Methodism grew with the Industrial Revolution and Methodists were active in the abolition of the slave trade, and the development of trades unions.
The Reverend Martin Ramsden said: "On August 26 the members of Avenue Methodist Church will have their last act of worship together before disbanding to join other Methodist Churches around Middlesbrough and Eston.
Postwar trends associated with a steadily more uniform colonial ideology had considerable potential to complicate the lives of Methodists. As if this were not enough, British Wesleyans took the opportunity of Methodism's wartime decline to establish rival preaching outposts in both Upper and Lower Canada with an eye to eventually displacing American Methodism from British North America altogether.
The Conference notes the call of the WCC [World Council of Churches] in 2009 for an 'international boycott of settlement produce and services' and calls on the Methodist people to support and engage with this boycott of Israeli goods emanating from illegal settlements (some Methodists would advocate a total boycott of Israeli goods until the Occupation ends)."
As far as the women were concerned, the difference in longevity was even greater with female Methodists dying at 91.1 on average nine years longer than the 82 years enjoyed by most British women.
They became Methodists because the missionaries touched their souls, but they could not retain their identity as Native Americans without significant adjustments and shifts in ideas.