We trace our heritage of the United Methodist Church back to the movement begun in 1729 in England by John and Charles Wesley. Below, you will find a brief list of some of the distinctive characteristics of our denomination. The United Methodist Church is:
- Global: Today we speak many languages and live in many countries—with different cultures, ethnic traditions, national histories and understandings of Christian faith and practice.
- Connectional: Every United Methodist congregation is interconnected throughout the denomination and throughout the world through a unique structure that bears a striking resemblance to the United States’ representational government, with leadership parallels to the executive, legislative and judicial branches.
- Inclusive: All persons are welcome to attend our churches, receive Holy Communion, be baptized and admitted into membership.
- Grounded in Scripture: United Methodist trust free inquiry in matters of Christian doctrine. Our faith is guided by Scripture, tradition, experience and reason. Of paramount importance, however, is Scripture as the witness of God’s creating, redeeming and sustaining relationship with God’s people.
- Wesleyan: The United Methodist Church has a Wesleyan heritage, and as such, places an emphasis on mind and heart (knowledge and vital piety) and putting faith and love into practice (life).
- Concerned about social justice: For more than 200 years, The United Methodist Church and its predecessor bodies have expressed concern for God’s children everywhere — the poor, the orphaned, the aging, the sick, the oppressed and the imprisoned.
- Mission-oriented: Our mission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. In uncomplicated terms, this means we strive to nurture followers of Christ who then reach out and teach others about the love of Jesus.
- Ecumenical: United Methodists consider dialogue and missional cooperation between United Methodists and other Christians as a valid witness to the unity of the body of Christ.