1. Home
  2. Timeline: The Creation of the Global Methodist Church

Timeline: The Creation of the Global Methodist Church

by | Feb 18, 2023


Timeline

This timeline is a work in progress. We are adding to it to provide additional historical context, as well as attempting to keep up with new developments as they occur. We make no claim that it is comprehensive; there are many contributing events along the way, and it is not possible to include everything. Therefore, not all of the caucus or activist groups are included; not every clergy member who faced trial or surrendered their credentials are included (Rev. Jimmy Creech is included because his case helps us understand the Discipline requirements for conviction, and the subtle change in the status of the Social Principles); not all of the protests which occurred at General Conference sessions are included. Much of this will be added, but it isn’t yet visible.

The goal is to trace the moments along the way where the positions became increasingly intractable, and provide some insights into the sources of the issues that led to the splintering.

If you think we need to add something, or you believe that there is an error, please let us know!

Send Us a Suggestion

13 + 10 =


Selected Resources

These books provide helpful information regarding the history of the United Methodist Church and topics directly related to the issues behind the creation of the Global Methodist Church. 

Please note: book links are monetized (feel free to click through to purchase them – you will help support the site).

In 2018, Dr. Ashley Boggan D published Entangled – A History of American Methodism, Politics, and Sexuality. This book provides a balanced view of the history of the issues  regarding sexuality within the Methodism movement, from the first sexual revolution in America (way back in the late 1800s), to the idealized family of the 1950s, and, helpfully, to the history of the homosexual debate within the Methodist tradition beginning in the 1970s. As is clear from the timeline above, the situation continued to evolve in significant ways since its publication, but it does provide an excellent accounting of how the conversation evolved.

While the above timeline is helpful for understanding the major events in the history of Methodism – including those that led up to the creation of the GMC – this timeline pales in comparison to the information available in Rex Matthews’ impressive work Timetables of History for Students of Methodism. If you are interested in Methodist history, this is a must-have. Rex has mapped out major events in Methodism, history, science, culture, and more in a side-by-side columnar format. The work starts in 1700 (when Samuel Wesley initially organized what became a prototype society in Epworth), and runs through 2005. This is a rather amazing work, well worth the small investment.

Please note: book links are monetized (feel free to click through to purchase them – you will help support the site).

As noted above, these events are still occuring – indeed, the Methodist tradition is living through some remarkable history right now!

No printed texts can possibly be up-to-date. However, a key text that I use in my teachings is American Methodism: Revised and Updated, by Ashley Boggan D., Russell E. Richey, Kenneth E. Rowe, and Jean Miller Schmidt. This book is a remarkable effort to tell the complex story of Methodism in the United States, and final chapters were updated in 2022 to capture much of the developments leading to the splintering of Methodism as we are experiencing it today. This is another text providing insights from Dr. Boggan D, who is now the General Secretary of the United Methodist Church’s General Commission on Archives and History.

While our timeline is helpful for understanding the major events in the history of Methodism – including those that led up to the creation of the GMC – this timeline pales in comparison to the information available in Rex Matthews’ impressive work Timetables of History for Students of Methodism. If you are interested in Methodist history, this is a must-have. Rex has mapped out major events in Methodism, history, science, culture, and more in a side-by-side columnar format. The work starts in 1700 (when Samuel Wesley initially organized what became a prototype society in Epworth), and runs through 2005. This is a rather amazing work, well worth the small investment.

For those interested in a helpful summary text on the three plans submitted by the Committee on a Way Forward prior to the 2019 General Conference, this book provides balanced insights about the issues and history involved: United Methodists Divided: Understanding Our Differences Over Homosexuality. The author, Dr. Dale McConkey, serves as Associate Professor of Sociology at Berry College, and has expertise in the area of “the cultural conflict between traditionalists and progressives in American religion” (from the back cover).

Send Us a Suggestion

4 + 14 =