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The Church Emerges Pioneer Development: Part One.

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Presentation on theme: "The Church Emerges Pioneer Development: Part One."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Church Emerges Pioneer Development: Part One

2 Annual Conference of 1785  Upholds the Christmas Conference  Establishes the Episcopacy  Establishes the role of “presiding elder”, what will become the District Superintendent  18,000 members recognized

3 Church vs. Society  “Church” tends to suggest an ecclesiastic structure and polity  “Society” suggest a voluntary organization of local members  The Episcopal Methodist Church keeps both configurations  The potential conflict between identities continues into present time

4 Recognizing Government  Coke and Asbury meet with Washington on two separate occasions  Article 23 addresses the “Rulers of the United States of America”

5 Article XXIII  “The President, the Congress, the general assemblies, the governors and the councils of state, as delegates of the people, are the rulers of the United States of America…. A sovereign and independent nation” subject to no foreign jurisdiction.

6 Parting Such Sweet Sorrow  Many former Anglicans separate from the Methodist societies to form the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States  William White fashions this denomination, that maintained communion with The Church of England.

7 Organizational Problems  What should be the relationship of bishops to all itinerate pastors?  What should be the relationship of itinerate pastors to the general membership of the church?  What should be the role and status of the laity?

8 1786 Issue  Wesley sends Dr. Coke back to the States with instructions to appoint Richard Whatcoat as the third General Superintendent.  But Annual Conference dates and agendas had already been set  Further, why would Annual Conferences accept a Wesley appointment?

9 1786 Issue  As a result, the minutes of the Christmas Conference amended, removing mention of the Methodist Episcopal Church’s agreement to follow the direction of Wesley  Whatcoat not elected bishop  Issue settled in 1788 with replacement of John Wesley's name as one of Episcopal authority.

10 O’Kelly Schism  Colonial Methodism succeeded because of the efforts of circuit riders, lay preachers, class leaders, and band leaders.  But the question of authority and freedom never found resolution.  Does authority rest with the Episcopacy, laity, or both?

11 O’Kelly Schism  First General Conference, November of 1792, in Baltimore  Wesley died one month prior to Conference  O’Kelly advocates a permanent General Conference to limit the authority of the General Superintendents (esp. Asbury)

12 O’Kelly Schism  “After the bishop appoints the preachers at conference to their circuits, if anybody thinks himself injured by the appointment,”… one can appeal to their conference, who may overrule the appointment and request that the bishop make a new one.

13 O’Kelly Schism  While the motion ultimately fails, it did raise the question of the authority of the bishop.  O’Kelly leaves and forms the Republican Methodist Church, which later becomes the Christian Church.  Many pastors and laity leave the Methodist Episcopal Church

14 Traveling vs. Local Preacher  Traveling Preachers held full membership in an Annual Conference and was ordained either as deacon or elder.  Local Preachers were authorized to work only with a specific location. Often local preachers trained to become a traveling preacher.

15 Traveling vs. Local Preacher  Local Preachers, in certain circumstances, given permission to administer the Sacraments.  Handled the day-to-day ministries of a local community while the Circuit Riders attended to many communities.

16 Traveling vs. Local Preacher  So only Traveling Preachers were itinerates.  Many traveling preachers surrender membership to an Annual Conference and become a local preacher (settling down, raising a family, etc)

17 Traveling vs. Local Preacher  The large difference: membership to an Annual Conference.  Four Characteristics of Traveling Preacher (Brunson, 1856) Conversion Fruits Calling of God Seals from the Church

18 Traveling vs. Local Preacher  The intineracy kept traveling preachers on the move in a specific region for a determined length of time.  A circuit often composed of numerous preaching points  The combination of these two systems, however, well suited for Western expansion.

19 Traveling vs. Local Preacher  Problems raised with itineracy No chance to acquire property Difficult to raise family No retirement plans Poor salaries Health problems common Imposed an involuntary celibacy Would not know of appointment until Bishop read the list at end of the Annual Conference

20 Presiding Elders vs. Presiding Bishops  Presiding Elders (District Superintendents) originally designated to provide leadership and sacraments to the unordained preachers. Also, Assisted in communication between Annual Conferences (esp. appointments) Aided the Bishop in administrative duties

21 Duties of a General Superintendent  Fix the Appointments  Preside in Conferences  Change, receive and suspend preachers  Oversee spiritual and temporal business  Ordain deacons, elders and bishops

22 Early General Superintendents  Francis Asbury  Dr. Thomas Coke  Richard Whatcoat  William McKendree  Enoch George  Robert R. Roberts


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