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Author Topic: The Free Methodist Church -?  (Read 1419 times)

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Duane

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The Free Methodist Church -?
« on: June 19, 2012, 11:48:44 PM »


Many people see the sign "Free Methodist Church" as opposed to the Methodist Church. Many Free Methodists have never questioned what the "free" means:
 Here is the answer: When Abe Lincoln "freed the slaves" many churches did not want the slaves in their congregations or participating in their church services.
The FREE Methodist Church was a designated name that meant that slaves were FREE to attend and were welcome to participate in worship. Just an odd fact I thought you would enjoy.
 My question is whay not FREE Baptists, Presbyterians, Roman Catholics,Episcopals? I don't know.
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musicman

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Re: The Free Methodist Church -?
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2012, 02:50:15 PM »

So what does that "free" label mean today?  Are the other methodist churches saying that they are not free?  The free should be obvious without the label.
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Duane

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Re: The Free Methodist Church -?
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2012, 01:53:20 AM »

Ian Paul brought up a point that COULD be as equally valid and likely as my post...and that is that FREE Methodists meant that people weren't allowed the common practice of BUYING their church pews for family/friends for better seats on Sunday.
(I wonder if the last three rows were always bought out first!)  :-)
This post is silly at best but I am too serious most of the time so ---an odd fact here and there--only to find it may not be factual at all--- :-(
In CHrist,
Duane

P.S. There sure in a BIG, EMPTY HOLE in my heart left by Ray's departure!!
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Gina

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Re: The Free Methodist Church -?
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2012, 02:11:56 AM »

(I wonder if the last three rows were always bought out first!)  :-)

Affirmative! 

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Extol

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Re: The Free Methodist Church -?
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2012, 11:46:40 AM »

Brother Duane,
 Being a Religion major, I'm curious and interested about things like this, so I called the Free Methodist Church's Marston Memorial Historical Center. According to Cathy Fortner, Historical Director at the Center, you and Ian Paul are BOTH correct. The Free Methodist Church started because some people felt the church was straying too far from the original doctrines of Methodism. Two of the issues were the holding of slaves and the buying and selling of pews. There are other implications in the word free, such as the freedom from segregated worship and freedom from secret societies.

 Your post reminded me of the origins of another denomination, the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church, which began 73 years prior to the Free Methodist Church. From the AME Church's website:
The AMEC grew out of the Free African Society (FAS) which Richard Allen, Absalom Jones, and others established in Philadelphia in 1787. When officials at St. Georgeís MEC pulled blacks off their knees while praying, FAS members discovered just how far American Methodists would go to enforce racial discrimination against African Americans. Hence, these members of St. Georgeís made plans to transform their mutual aid society into an African congregation. Although most wanted to affiliate with the Protestant Episcopal Church, Allen led a small group who resolved to remain Methodists. In 1794 Bethel AME was dedicated with Allen as pastor. To establish Bethelís independence from interfering white Methodists, Allen, a former Delaware slave, successfully sued in the Pennsylvania courts in 1807 and 1815 for the right of his congregation to exist as an independent institution. Because black Methodists in other middle Atlantic communities encountered racism and desired religious autonomy, Allen called them to meet in Philadelphia to form a new Wesleyan denomination, the AME.

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