American Methodism: A Compact History

American Methodism: A Compact History


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In this engaging and artful overview, Russell Richey, Kenneth Rowe, and Jean Miller Schmidt, some of Methodism’s most respected teachers, give readers a vivid picture of soulful terrain of the Methodist experience in America.The authors highlight key themes and events that continue to shape the Church. Knowing their history, Methodists are better positioned, prepared, and inspired for faithful witness and holy living.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781426742279
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Publication date: 09/21/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Jean Miller Schmidt is Gerald L. Schlessman Professor Emerita of Methodist Studies, The Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado.

(2011) Russell E. Richey is Dean Emeritus of Candler School of Theology and the William R. Cannon Distinguished Professor of Church History Emeritus in Atlanta, Georgia.

Kenneth E. Rowe, a retired clergy member of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, the premier bibliographer of American United Methodism, was for 31 years Methodist Librarian and Professor of Church History at Drew University, as well as Professor of Church History in the Theological and Graduate Schools. He is also Emeritus Professor of Church History and Methodist Archives Librarian at Drew University Theological School in Madison, New Jersey.

Table of Contents

Preface vii

Methodist History in a Digital Age

Using This Narrative with the Two MEA Volumes

Complementary United Methodist Resources

Introduction: Spontaneous Beginnings: 1760-68 1

Conversionist Religion

Colonial Awakenings

Otterbein and Boehm

Wesleyan Initiatives

Spontaneity and Order

Chapter I Revolutionary Methodism: 1769-84 9

Pilmore and Boardman





Tensions and Controversies as Revolution Looms

Collaborators, Loyalists, Pacifists, Persecuted, Patriots


A First Schism

Slavery and Revival

Awaiting Wesleyan Directives

Provisioning an American Church

Planting an American Church

Chapter II Reforming the Continent and Spreading Scriptural Holiness: 1792-1816 27

The Christmas Conference

Otterbein in Baltimore

Race, Gender, and Gentility

Bishops and Conference

Multiple Conferences and the Council

General Conference

Republican, Primitive, and African Methodists


United Brethren and Evangelical Association

Annual Conferences and General Conference (MEC)

Spirituality: In the Home and in Camp Meetings

Racializing the Church

A New Day Dawns

Chapter III Print, Nuture, Missions: 1816-50's 47

Which Wesley to Emulate?

Apologetics and the Course of Study

Book Agents

A Print Church

Parsonages and Pastoring

Sunday Worship, the Sunday School, and the Sunday School Union

Missionary Societies

A New Connectionalism

Holiness Promotes

Collegiate Enterprise

Theological Seminaries and Brush Colleges

Chapter IV Connectional Strains and Contests: 1816-50s 65

Racial Divisions

German Methodisms

Women's Ministries

Native American Missions

Colonization and Mission to the Slaves

German, Spanish, and International Missions

Democratic and Anti-Episcopacy Divisions

A New Church

Chapter V Methodism and Slavery: 1830-60s 81

Sectionalized Methodism

Methodist Abolition and an Antislavery Church

General Conferences 1844

Methodist Episcopal Church, South


Further Division over Slavery

Chapter VI A Methodist Civil War: 1860-65 93

Methodist Confederacy

Military Defeat and Moral Victory

Northern Methodist Patriotism

Ministry in the Army

Mobilizing Methodist Women

New Caring Institutions

African American Conferences

National Churches

Chapter VII Reconstructions: 1866-84 107

Looking Back and Looking Forward

Lay Rights in Episcopal Methodism

Denominational Accountability

Women's Organizational Revolution


Women in Seminary and in the Pulpit

Foreign and Home Missions

Southern African American Methodisms

"Fraternal" Relations among Methodists

Local Methodism

Chapter VIII Rethinking Mission(s): 1884-1939 127

Reordering Foreigner Missions

Lay Ministries at Home

Korean Missions and Asian American Methodists

Deaconess Movements


Social Christianity

MFSS and the Social Creed

Rethinking Missions

Chapter IX Methodism Conflicted: 1884-1939 145

Laity Rights for Women

Conflicts over Holiness

A Methodist Social Gospel

Drying up America

Red Scare

Liberalism and Fundamentalism

MECS Women and Racial Reform

Women's Ordination: Another Round

Worship and Architecture

Mission(s) in War and of Peace

Reunification and Race

Chapter X Unifications and World Wars: 1939-68 169

War and a New World Order

Holocaust, Japanese Internment, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki

Ordering the New Methodist Church

Jurisdictions and the Central Jurisdiction

Segregated Methodism-Segregated America

Progress toward Integration

Uniting Methodist Women

Full Clergy Rights for Women

Youth Ministries

The Evangelical United Brethren Church

Worship: EUBC and Methodist

Cold and Korean Wars

Social Activism and Another "Red Scare"

Ecumentical Efforts

The United Methodist Church

Mission Churches Exercise Options

Chapter XI The United Methodist Church: 1968-84 201

Caucus and Commission

African Americans in United Methodism

Asian American United Methodists

Latino/Hispanic United Methodism

Native American United Methodism

The UMC and the Vietnam War

Merger Commissions-Social Principles, Structure, Doctrine

New Women's Organizations

Homosexuality: Cause and Caucus

Elder Care



Good News a Forum for Scriptural Christianity

Spirituality and the Language of Praise

Chapter XII From Bicentennial to Century's End: 1984-2000 235

New Doctrinal Standards

Episcopal Initiatives

Native/American Ministries

Latino/Hispanic Ministries

Korean American Ministries

Abortion Policy


Political Theologizing

Christian Unity

Sacraments, Worship, Hymnody

Women Get the Last Word

Abbreviations 261

Index 265

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