Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.



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.

References in periodicals archive ?
A BOOK charting 160 years of church history has been published to boost the coffers of Huddersfield Methodist Mission.
The Texas Methodist Foundation , headquartered in Austin, is a statewide nonprofit organization offering assistance to United Methodists through investments, loans, leadership development, stewardship services, gift planning and endowment services, and grants.
Bush presidential library, museum and public policy institute on its Dallas campus, despite objections from liberal United Methodists.
Stephen's Episcopal Church, Methodists, Santa Clarita Church of Religious Science, Unitarian Universalists and Valencia United Methodist Church.
In the summer of 1919 American Methodists took this phrase as the slogan for an enormous missionary exposition held in Columbus, Ohio.
Reminding his readers that one in six white adults in Montgomery at the time of the bus boycott in 1955-56 were Methodists, Collins combines his grief for lost opportunities with a realism illustrated by a quotation from Reinhold Niebuhr used as an epigram for chapter 9--"There is nothing in history to support the thesis that a dominant class ever yields its position or its privileges in society because its rule has been convicted of injustice" (115).
METHODISTS have voted to keep their ban on alcohol being drunk on church premises.
This is an incredible breakthrough for the church and for Methodists around the world.
This study focuses attention on change; how Methodists influenced their environment and also how the environment of Georgia--the political, economic, intellectual and social--affected the values and practices of Methodists in the area.
Reflecting the views of some United Methodists, James V.
Of these, more than half live in North America, which means that Methodists are scattered rather thinly across the rest of the globe.
Stephen's, Methodists, Science of Mind, Sonshine Christian Church, Temple Beth Ami and Valencia United Methodist Church.