People with a Rich Heritage
Jesus Christ, our Savior, and source of salvation, is also our example. His devout and holy life of worshiping the Father and serving those in need shows what it means to be a Christian, a “Christ-follower.”
Early Free Methodists called themselves Free to make a point. Jesus gives us freedom—freedom from sin and guilt, the freedom of the Spirit, freedom to live freely for Jesus in every area. At the time (late 1850s, early 1860s) many churches discriminated against the poor and black people by restricting them to the poorest seating in their sanctuaries. Free Methodists insisted on “free pews” for everyone—no restrictions. Many larger churches raised funds by auctioning the best seats to the highest bidders.)
The Free Methodist Church was founded right before the Civil War. Millions of blacks were bound as slaves. Free Methodists insisted slavery was sin. All slaves should be free. Here was another important reason for being Free Methodists: No discrimination against blacks or the poor or the new immigrants then flooding the country. Jesus welcomed everyone; so should the church, His body.
The basic principle of freedom included rights for women and the “Spirit’s freedom in all parts of life. Complete freedom for women to be pastors as well as leaders in society is one of the deepest principles of free Methodism. Every Christian, male or female receives the Holy Spirit and gifts to serve God and others.
Our founders liked the word “Methodist.” Most had been members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, with roots in the great Evangelical Revival under John and Charles Wesley in England in the 1700s. Early Free Methodists loved the values and traditions of Methodism.
Free Methodists have always believed that the Christian faith is not just about Sunday worship, but living seven-days-a-week discipleship, frequent contact with other Christian brothers and sisters, and widespread witness to the world.
Check out our denomination website: http://fmcusa.org/
Free Methodists Are: