Methodists / Methodism / The Methodist Church

Methodism is a group of historically related denominations of Protestant Christianity. It originated in 18th century Britain, and through vigorous missionary activity, spread throughout the British Empire, the United States, and beyond.

Traditionally, Methodism has believed in the Arminian view of free will, via God's prevenient grace, as opposed to predestination. This distinguishes it, historically, from Calvinist traditions such as Presbyterianism. However, in strongly Calvinist areas such as Wales, Calvinistic Methodists remain, also called the Presbyterian Church of Wales.

In the late 1760s, Methodist lay preachers emigrated to America and formed societies. With a system of circuit riders, or lay preachers, traveling from town to town, Methodism quickly spread throughout the continent.



The Methodists: Student Edition (Denominations in America (Paperback), by James E. Kirby, Russell E. Richey, Kenneth E. Rowe
This volume deals only with the development of American Methodism. Following the arrangement of other volumes in the series, it includes sections on history, a biographical dictionary of leaders, a chronology, and bibliographic essay. The history is approached structurally. In Part 1, James Kirby traces the development of the episcopacy. In Part 2, Russell Richey discusses organization of clergy into conferences. In Part 3, Kenneth Rowe describes the development of lay organizations such as the class meeting, probationer's class, and Sunday school. Each section incorporates predecessor and splinter organizations of Methodism such as Methodist Episcopal; Methodist Episcopal, South; Methodist Protestant; Evangelical Association; United Brethren; and African Methodist Episcopal. Also available in hardcover. Paperback.



The Story of American Methodism: A History of the United Methodists and Their Relations (Paperback), by Frederick Abbott Norwood
Traces the history of Methodism from the eighteenth-century Wesleyan movement through successive stages of theological development to its role in today's ecumenical movement. The text includes the story of Evangelical United Brethren Church as part of Methodism. The cultural and religious pluralism of the country today: Black Methodism, the contributions of women, the theological trends spanning two hundred years - each emerge in clear detail. The story of the various branches of Methodism is followed through the years. Paperback.



Wesley and the People Called Methodists (Paperback), by Richard P. Heitzenrater
This survey of the Wesleyan movement in the eighteenth century is the story of many people whose lives and thoughts are woven together in the developing theology, organizations, and mission of Methodism. Wesley's own pilgrimage of faith is, of course, central to the emergence of Methodism, but we also see the contributions of many others, friends and critics alike, whose lives and thoughts helped shape the movement. Paperback.



United Methodist Doctrine: The Extreme Center (Paperback), by Scott J. Jones
Throughout this book, Scott J. Jones insists that the ultimate goal of doctrine is holiness. Importantly, he clarifies the nature and the specific claims of "official" United Methodist doctrine in a way that moves beyond the current tendency to assume the only alternatives are a rigid dogmatism or an unfettered theological pluralism. In classic Wesleyan form, Jones' driving concern is with recovering the vital role of forming believers in the "mind of Christ," so that they might live more faithfully in their many settings in our world. Paperback.



United Methodist Studies: Basic Bibliographies (Paperback), by Kenneth E. Rowe (Editor)
This reference provides basic bibliographies for students of the Methodist movement and Wesleyan heritage, and identifies standard texts with emphasis on the best modern critical interpretations. Paperback.



Living Grace: An Outline of United Methodist Theology (Paperback), by Walter Klaiber, Manfred Marquardt
The authors, Bishop Walter Klaiber and Dr. Manfred Marquardt, are leading theologians of continental European United Methodism. Their work meets the long-felt need to provide partners in ecumenical dialog a clearer exposition of Methodism's theology, as founded upon biblical witness, apostolic heritage, the Protestant Reformation, and the Wesleyan Revival. Paperback.



This Holy Mystery: A United Methodist Understanding of Holy Communion (Paperback), by Gayle Carlton Felton
Serves as a study guide for the official United Methodist position on Holy Communion that was adopted by the 2004 General Conference. The official document is included in the book in a running sidebar, with commentary study helps in a second column on each page. Paperback.



If Saddlebags Could Talk: Methodist Stories and Anecdotes (Paperback), by Frederick E. Maser, Robert Drew Simpson
Maser and Simpson provide a compilation of informative and amusing anecdotes that reflect the lives of early Methodists, providing little known facts and true stories about familiar Methodist leaders as well as about those sitting in Methodist pews. If Saddlebags Could Talk is an excellent resource for all ministers, Sunday School teachers, libraries, and Methodist lay persons. Paperback.



The Lives of Early Methodist Preachers (Paperback), by Thomas Jackson (Editor)
A compilation of biographies of eminent Methodist preachers, most of them autobiographies. These men were trained in the belief and practice of the strictest churchmanship; so that they would have thought it a sin to deviate from the rubric, to conduct public worship in an unconsecrated place, or to countenance the ministrations of a man on whose head the hands of a prelate had never been laid. Yet these very men were so controlled by the providence and grace of God, as to be a means of introducing, and that upon an extensive scale, a freedom of religious action, such as had scarcely been witnessed in any country since the apostolic age. Paperback.



Her Own Story: Autobiographical Portraits of Early Methodist Women (Paperback), by Paul Wesley Chilcote (Editor)
While it is not exhaustive, being composed only of letters, accounts of religious experience, diaries, journals and other miscellaneous prose works, the early Methodist women's writings assembled here provide a new vantage point from which to view the renewal of Christianity in the Wesleyan revival. Chilcote gives a substantial introduction to the volume as a whole, then also introduces each category of writing and each individual author. Beyond providing a contextual backdrop, he lets each woman speak for herself. Paperback.



Sacraments & Discipleship: Understanding Baptism & the Lord's Supper in the United Methodist Context (Paperback), by Mark Wesley Stamm
Stamm discusses the sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion as the living center of accountable Christian communities, where people watch over one another in love and understand that the mission of the church is to make disciples. Paperback.



The Methodist Experience in America: A Sourcebook (Methodist Experience in America) (Paperback), by Russell E. Richey
The book is chronologically arranged with an excellent index and solid explanations prefacing each document. The work also contains an excellent timeline of American Methodism, and represents a solid collection of primary source material for students of the denomination. Paperback.