The Story of The Wesleyan Church

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The Wesleyan Church seeks to support and enable shepherds who have been called to make flocks of disciples, to shepherd them, and lead them into a deeper Christlikeness. From its fiery revivalists to socially conscious reformers, The Wesleyan Church is a movement with a rich tradition and inspiring history in America. The coauthors each represent one of the merging denominations which formed the church in , weaving Pilgrim Holiness and Wesleyan Methodist threads into a single, colorful tapestry that both represents the history and anticipates the future of The Wesleyan Church.

Redecorating of the church interior continued under Gene and Becky DeGraff. Everyone pitched in to help in special programs and contests. The church grew until Pastor Gene felt a full time pastor was needed, recommending Pastor Black. Pastor and Autho Black answered the call. As the church grew and space was needed, the tower was torn down and the old sanctuary extended and remodeled.

Wesleyan Church Beliefs and Practices

The bus ministry restarted in Soon properties along Fairview were purchased to accommodate the growing church and a new sanctuary was built and dedicated in October Harold Blew served our growing children's ministry from and in our 2 story education wing was dedicated. Tim Studaker came in and served as Youth Minister until Pastor Surbrook came to lead us in George B. Kulpstarted one of these prayer groups in Battle Creek,Michigan, where the Horrock's department store nowstands. This was the beginning of our church in BattleCreek.

The founding date for what later became theInternational Apostolic Holiness Church was This group later merged with other groups andbecame known as the Pilgrim Holiness Church.

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Their merging conference washeld in Anderson, Indiana, on June 26, Kulp was the first pastor. Since we have been known as the FirstWesleyan Church. The name stucklater to the unique new organizational structureWesley designed to provide prayer and spiritual carefor tens of thousands of converts who found Christthrough his work. It waswhile studying the Bible that he received assurance ofhis own salvation through faith. It was the Biblewhich motivated his vision for offering Christ to thecommon people of England in a way that led to thatnation's greatest spiritual revival.

It was biblical truththat inspired Wesley to develop a school for orphans,job programs and medical assistance for the poor,efforts to reform inhumane prisons, and argumentsfor the abolition of slavery, a great evil of his time. Although we respect his example, John Wesley isnot the person Wesleyans worship.

In a group of pastors and local churches left thatdenomination because of their strong antislaveryconvictions and their preference for a moredemocratic form of church government. A number of smallergroups of churches merged with them over time,especially between and , including theAlliance of Reformed Baptists of Canada. During the late s, a widespread emphasis onthe teaching of holiness swept across variousdenominations in America. This resulted in theformation of holiness unions groups of peopleinterested in encouraging this teaching in their owndenominations , rescue missions, camp meetingassociations, and new congregations.

Mergers amongmany of these groups from on eventuallyresulted in the organization of the Pilgrim HolinessChurch in In The Wesleyan Church was created when. As part of its historicpast, The Wesleyan Church celebrates theinvolvement of its early leaders in the first ordinationof women for Christian ministry in Who are the Wesleyans? We offer the good news that faith in Jesus Christmakes possible a wonderful personal relationshipwith God, a holy life empowered by His Holy Spiritfor witness and service, and assurance of eternal lifein heaven.

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Our ministries emphasize practical Bibleteaching, uplifting worship, and special programs tomeet a variety of life needs. With World Headquarters in Fishers, Indiana, TheWesleyan Church has nearly , constituents in5, churches and missions in 80 countries of theworld.

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  6. Formed in resulting from the mergers ofseveral like-minded groups, dating back as far as, The Wesleyan Church has its roots in JohnWesley's Methodism. Vision Transforming lives, churches, and communitiesthrough the hope and holiness of Jesus Christ.

    Watermark Wesleyan Church

    In , worldwideSunday morning worship attendance was ,persons in more than 5, congregations. Worldwidetotal membership was , There were more than1, local churches in the United States and Canada,with , total members and an average of, in Sunday morning services. In addition to worship services and Sundayschools, many local churches provide other uniqueprograms to reach children, youth, and adults withdynamic spiritual formation opportunities. Our Government and Organization Local churches are organized into a network ofdistricts with equal representation of clergy and laityat their annual conferences.

    Each has an electedadministrator known as the district superintendentand has a district board of administration with bothlay and clergy serving. National and multi-nationalnetworks are called general conferences with verystrong national leadership and meet every four years. The North American General Conference has threegeneral superintendents and each of them have abouta third of the church under their administrativeoversight. Recently went to one GeneralSuperintendent - Dr. Lyon - By an overwhelmingmajority, Dr. Anordained Wesleyan minister, Dr. Though it is too earlyto predict which general conferences will be formedin the coming years, the eventual shift is inevitable.

    The Wesleyan Church is organized at three levelsfor effective ministry. Laypersons and clergy areinvolved at each level in leadership. The Local Church Local congregations are the basic units of caring,growth and outreach for the denomination.

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    Each isled by its own pastoral staff, a Local Board or aLocal Advisory Council if the church is not fullyestablished , and other officers and boards dependingupon local needs. Senior pastors are called by themajority vote of the members of the church, but serveonly when appointed by the district conference. Titlesto property are usually held in trust by both the localchurch and its district. Annual and special localchurch conferences allow every member. Individual members are encouraged to develop theirfull talents and potential by active service throughtheir local church.

    The District Wesleyans practice interdependent, notindependent, church government. Being part of alarger body of believers holds each church to a higherdegree of accountability for its resources andministries, and also makes it a partner in goals bestpursued together. Each local church is assigned to anetwork of churches called a district. Delegates fromeach local church and all ordained members of thedistrict meet annually during the District Conferenceto govern its affairs.

    The District Conference elects aDistrict Superintendent, a District Board ofAdministration, and other officers and boards withspecial duties. The district credentials and appointspastors and other licensed workers, supports areachurch colleges, provides camping programs andother special ministries, and participates indenominational emphases. The General Church The General Conference meets every four yearsand consists primarily of lay and clergy delegateselected by the district conferences. At this level the. Three GeneralSuperintendents and a General Board are elected tooversee the work of each aspect of the denominationbetween General Conferences.

    Directors of eightGeneral Departments or offices are elected to providea variety of services to the local churches, districts,and the denominational operation. The denomination is also a member of the NationalAssociation of Evangelicals and the World MethodistCouncil—formed in and representing sixtydifferent denominations with a Wesleyan heritage. The Wesleyan Church does not belong to the National. The financialaffairs of The Wesleyan Church adhere to the highstandards of Christian ethics in financial accountingand reporting. Our Heritage When John Wesley began his ministry in ,morality and religion had collapsed in England.

    InMay of that year, Wesley had his Aldersgateexperience and went out to minister to the multitudesin the open fields. A century later, the social andmoral climate of England had changed dramatically. Conditionscan change for the better. It has happened.

    The Story of The Wesleyan Church: 50th Anniversary Edition

    The Fight Begins Of the many moral and social reforms resultingfrom the spiritual awakening of the eighteenthcentury, perhaps the abolition of slavery was the mostconspicuous. In England freed her slaves. His Lordship JudgeMansfield noted that the court did so because slavery. Just a few days before he died in, Wesley wrote his last letter to this Christianstatesman, urging him to continue the fight. It was analmost impossible assignment, but in ,Wilberforce did get the government to forbid Britishships to engage in the lucrative slave trade.

    Wilberforce died in , one month beforeParliament passed the law liberating all slaves in theBritish Empire.

    In his book Saints and Society, Dr. Earle E. Cairnswrote that English evangelicals accomplished morefor good than any reform movement in history. Thatis a precious part of our heritage. Why do so fewChristians today know about these greatachievements? The Cause in America The American Wesleyan Church came into beingin because the mainline denominations refusedto take a stand on the issue of slavery.

    Washington and Jefferson had been apologetic for theancient evil and wished it to go away. Constitution in , and hewarned them that God would judge the nation if theyfailed to do so.