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The Wesleyan Methodist Church is a part of a world-wide evangelical denomination with ministries in Britain, Canada, U.S.A., and Australia, as well as 30 other countries.
The church owes its origin to the great spiritual awakening of the 18th Century when God raised up John and Charles Wesley as preachers and hymn writers.
The Wesleyan Methodist Church grew out of a reform movement within the Methodist Church over the issue of abolition of slavery, when Methodist leaders would not take a clear stand as a church against slavery.
Rev. Orange Scott attacked "the new doctrine of compromise" and organised "a new anti-slavery, anti-intemperance, anti-every-thing wrong, church organization." The Wesleyan Methodist Church was organised in 1843 at Utica, New York. Rev. Scott presided over the organising convention.
From its first Discipline, the Wesleyan Methodist denomination restored again strict prohibitions, both against using/trading alcohol, and against slavery.
(See Total abstinence: 1997 Australian National Conference - Wesleyan Methodist Church.)
(See History Highlights of the Wesleyan Church USA.)
The mission of the church is to spread scriptural holiness throughout every land. The message is that Christ can forgive sins, transform us, free us from inbred sin, and enable us to live a holy life and bear witness in our hearts that we are children of God.
In 1968 the Pilgrim Holiness Church merged with the Wesleyan Methodist Church to form the Wesleyan Church. Australia voted to retain the name "Methodist" as part of the title, and continues as part of the Wesleyan Church worldwide.
The church in Australia celebrated its 50th year in 1996 with over 85 churches and preaching points across the country.
We seek to be a church that carries out its motto: "Not just a church, but a family."
(See Christian Perfection by John Wesley.)
Nathan Bangs, in A History of the Methodist Episcopal Church (1838) quotes the Minutes of the 1780 Methodist Conference in Baltimore against slave-holding and alcohol:
'By these minutes it will also be seen that the preachers of the day set their faces against "distilling grain into liquor," determining to "disown those who would not renounce the practice."
From this it may be seen that the Methodist conference set itself against the use of alcoholic liquors long before the temperance movements, which have so distinguished the present days, and which have conferred such lasting blessing upon the community. What a pity that there should ever have been any relaxation of this rule!'
Wesleyan Methodist Church of Australia
Wesleyan Church USA
Holiness, godliness, righteousness, and Christ-likeness in personal and church life